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BBC Radio 2 - Pause for Thought

Tuesday 25th February 2014

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu delivered his BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought about 'Change is a Constant'. His Pause in full follows:....


“Change is a constant; managing it has become an expanding discipline. The way we embrace it defines our future.”

So said Her Majesty the Queen, in her Address to both Houses of Parliament on 30th April 2002, to mark the start of her Golden Jubilee Celebrations – as Queen, Defender of the Faith, and Head of the Commonwealth.

Change is a constant. Doesn’t she know it! And indeed she has demonstrated in her long, dutiful and faithful reign.

We need wisdom and discipline to help us embrace change and guide us to shape it for a better and brighter future.

We also need an inner stability to help us through. Reflecting on my own childhood – my parents, twelve siblings, a large extended family and church-life – helped me to find a true habitat for a constantly renewed mind where the good habits of the heart began to grown and flourish.

I learnt by hearing and observing others on how to focus and set my mind on the right things. Things that would not let me down as well as helping to build others up: kindness, compassion, forbearance, truthfulness, justice, loyalty and gracious magnanimity.

I remember my mother’s response when I came home from school after being bullied as a 7 year old by an older boy called Sampson. For twenty minutes I recited all the horrible names he had called me. Then I said he was far worse than those things. My mother finally said, “Is that all you can say about Sampson?” Her face and voice told me how disappointed she was that I could use similar insults about him, rather than find something positive to say.

Later, as a young scout I learnt that my thoughts should concentrate on being generous to others and duty to God.

I now ask God to renew my mind daily, to maintain my sense of values and recognising that people, as the only creature with a Godly-soul, must aspire to higher goals, than worldly power or success.

It’s healthy realism to recognise the changeableness of things, and to hold firm to what is good.


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