A glimpse of our Archdeaconry Synod

Written by Marisha Carter | February 2022

This year was the second Synod that has taken place by Zoom. Meeting in person would have been the ideal but with the many restrictions around it wasn't possible this year. 

For those who haven't attended  a Synod, apart from the business of the Archdeaconry, we have bible study sessions. This year they were led by Bishop John Pritchard who was an excellent speaker, and gave much for us to think about.

The morning session was  'Who is our neighbour?' As one might have expected the story of The Good Samaritan was cited. We know the story well; those who might have been expected to help didn't and the one perhaps we might not have expected to did. The parables always set us up to think …..which it did to me. Are my neighbours the people I like? Someone I might expect to have a favour given back? Or are they people who quite frankly I am not really fond of? Apart from that are they the unlikeable, the poor, the not too clean or from whom we will have no thanks?

The answer may seem obvious......they are all of those people.

For heavens sake do something and heaven help us

The obvious needs of people are all around us and so often the problems seem insurmountable and often that way of thinking leads us to do nothing. There was one phrase which Bishop John used which struck me forcibly....“For heavens sake do something and heaven help us”   I have thought on it quite a bit. Is it a just frustrated do something kind of plea? And heaven help if we don't kind of message?

No, I have come to some small conclusion …...don't take it as read that it is the correct one or the only one.

When we become a follower of Jesus we want to please Him, we want to do His will, we want to obey His commandments, we want to be like him. All that is of heaven we want to be in line with, to do other is folly and will bring us no joy or fulfilment.  As for “And Heaven help us” …...that is where our help comes from. Anything we might do in our own strength or volition may very quickly wane. It is only with the empowering from the Holy Spirit that the deed is sustained and is useful in God's plans.

 I have a photographer friend who lives in the Philippines who often sends beautiful photographs of life there. There is one such photograph which is a favourite of mine. Two beautiful young children are cooking on an open fire.  We would never allow our children to do that I am sure. See the smiles on their faces; their lives are undoubtedly difficult and yet.....there is a kind of joy about them.

We have so much and they so little …....it is a reminder to me when changing any situation seems too much to embark on, that when I truly understand who is my neighbour and I am directed by the Lord, of course something will be achieved and it will be pleasing to the Lord.

Photograph by kind permission of Bruce Liron