Happy Birthday to You
A Birth Day
On 28th October our Diocese will celebrate its 90th birthday. There was a special occasion called ‘The Hallowing’, with “a celebration of the Holy Communion in the Churches of the Diocese” – and a further rubric “so far as may be possible, in all parishes the flag of St George shall be flown upon the churches, and a joyous peal of bells shall be rung”.
The Service of Hallowing involved the Bishop of Southwell and the Bishop of Lichfield – the two dioceses from which Derby was formed.
So What Are We Celebrating?
The Diocese is not an organisation or an admin team! The Diocese is everyone in Derby and Derbyshire – all have a right to come and claim our ministry. That is why we exist. The celebration of this commission provides an important opportunity to ask about our fulfilment of the task, and to seek God’s Blessing for this privilege of being among those who are called to serve His mission.
The Secret of Survival
When many people reach the age of 90, they are often asked to what they attribute their long life and health – our answer is not too dissimilar. We have a careful diet, of bread and wine (Eucharist) and we try to keep clean and pure (baptism and confession). With God’s grace we are thereby nourished in body and mind. But the key is the precious gift of the Holy Spirit, source of life and love in each of us, between us, and joining us more deeply to our Creator God.
How Do We Celebrate?
We celebrate regularly, weekly – joining in the blessing of God’s call to be His people. For this special anniversary we should think once more about how our formation around celebration, even though remembering suffering and death, needs always to become Good News for others too.
Please give time on Saturday 28th October to pray for our Diocese, with thanksgiving for our call to mission and ministry in these times. On Sunday 29th October encourage others to join you in one of our churches – to taste the celebration of Life and the Promise of Glory. And continue faithfully on… between these precious markers is the daily journey of witness and worship – the calling to which each of us has been made to respond.
Many happy returns!