31st January 2019

Dear Friends

As you read this there is a good chance we will be in Namibia preparing to travel up North to the Angolan border and our visit to the parish of St Simon and Jude. It’s an exciting time, we are all looking forward to our meeting and our visit to the new church building. I promise we will take lots of photographs and if we have decent WiFi I might even get some photographs to you before we return.

Sundays epistle was a good piece of scripture to hear as we begin our journey to Africa. St Paul uses the image of the body to describe the proper functioning of the Christian community emerging at Corinth. It is as valid today as it was 2,000 years ago. Our link parish helps us to realise that the church is larger, broader and more diverse than we can imagine. There will be times when we are in alignment with our sisters and brothers in Angola and times when frankly it seems like we speak a different theological and philosophical language, that is to be expected. The test is how we negotiate our relationship for the mutual flourishing of both communities. If this is true of the Church, it is true of society. We enjoyed an excellent evening in conversation with Dominic Grieve on Sunday. One of the key themes we explored was how we must engage, constructively, honestly and politely with those we disagree with, this is not an easy task, made more difficult by the stridency of our present national conversation, but it is essential. The image of the body so eloquently expressed by Saint Paul is as useful for Society as it is the Church. We all need each other.

See you in February.

Simon

P.S One of the first photos showing safe arrival in Windhoek