Then and Now: Pastoral Reflections on the Northern Saints
Canon Professor Joyce Hill offers a foretaste of the rich models of faith, witness, leadership, and cultural engagement offered by figures such as Paulinus, Aidan, Hild, and Wilfrid. They are men and women by whom our mission can be inspired, and whose lives can inspire and engage others, in the context of Lent courses, quiet days, preaching, special services, and anniversaries; building relationships with schools, communities, local history groups, and tourism authorities; and sharing our spiritual heritage with visitors and pilgrims. In this fourth address, we find that our Northern Saints were bold and creative, practically minded, and socially responsible. They lived in difficult times, faced political turmoil, and dealt with secular authorities who did not always understand what they were about, but they never wavered in building up communities of faith. They recognised the importance of beauty in building our relationship with God and encourage us to allow the capacity of our buildings and worship to open up dialogue with the curious, helping them to explore new journeys of faith. We live in a world today which is full of colour and richness of texture, yet we too still find our spirits lifted by sight and sound, smell, and touch in the settings of our churches and cathedrals.
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