BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought


Archbishop Stephen today gave the Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2's breakfast show with Zoe Ball. This follows in full.


One of the bits of my work I enjoy the most is going into schools.

There’s usually a Q&A with the children and, if I'm honest, the questions are usually quite predictable.

‘How old are you?’ 

I use my Nanna’s answer: As old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth. 

‘How much do you earn?’

More than a postman and less than the prime minister? 

Which football team do you support?

Spurs. I tell them I know about suffering. Though things are looking up this season.

‘What exactly do you do?’ 

Well, this is a hard one, but I usually say that I'm a voice and a face for the Christian faith in the north. And I’m the vicar for the vicars. I explain that it's my job to care for them.

But last week, I was visiting a Church of England Infant School in Pocklington, having said this, a boy of probably only six or seven, put up his hand and asked me something that no one in school had ever asked me before.

‘Who cares for you?’ he said.

It was a beautifully kind question. I could've hugged him. Because my job, like many jobs, can sometimes be tough and sometimes be lonely and is always challenging. Even him asking the question felt like being cared for.

So I told him that I had a great team who work with me and cared for me.

And I had a family who loved me. 

But of course, I also told him that God cared for me and this was the great message of the Christian faith, that in Jesus, God comes to us to love us and care for us. And I said  I hoped that he had people to care for him, and that he knew about God's love.

And so Zoe and all of you listening at home or on your way to work, whoever you are, wherever you are I hope that you have colleagues who care for you and a family who loves you. But even if you don't, which sadly is the case for many people today,  I simply would like to remind you that you have a God who is on your side. And maybe you could add to your Tuesday To Do List today, to ask that same question 'Who cares for you?' to someone you know today. 

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the name Jesus standing out on a wall of other names
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