Our Hope is Found Reflection 4


In this fourth reflection the Archbishop considers how a flock of starlings move and work together and hopes that our communities can do the same.

You can read the full transcript of the reflection below.

Today we're thinking about not just hope for ourselves, not just hope for those we love, but hope for our community and all the different communities we are part of. A couple of years ago I was leading a conference, well like a retreat for some clergy in Canada, and I encouraged all the clergy to write a poem to express some of their feelings about God and their own life of faith and one of the archdeacons Max Woolaver wrote this fantastic little poem.

I'd been saying to him wouldn't it be good if in our communities -the community of the church I was thinking about - wouldn't it be good if we were more like a flock of starlings or a shoal of fish than we are at the moment. What I meant by that is if you've ever seen a flock of starlings in the sky (it's called a murmuration, that's the name of the poem), there's not any starling in charge. There's not like a CEO starling who's leading them all, they all move together, they all lead together, they all follow together. There's a wonderful beautiful unity about them which is I suppose what I long for. I hope that we can become a community of communities that move together, that live together, that hope together, that stay together, that work together, that pray together. That we could be like a flock of starlings.

So, this is Max's wonderful, scribbled on the back of an envelope poem, Murmuration.

"There is a shared wind of wing beat urging me to you now. I find you turning as like to your own wing mate who is like turning to her own. We shake the air together, falling as the breeze sweeps our common wing, rising as the heat breast of the earth lifts us to the sky."

My hope for our communities and our world, well, my hope is that we could be like flocks of starlings, like shoals of fish working and living in harmony together, leading together and following together.

So, if you want to write to me with your hope and your prayer for your community, for the communities that you're part of, do please write in so we can pray together for a better world in this new year.


Anyone who wishes a prayer to be said for themselves or others, can send this in to Bishopthorpe Palace, where the Archbishop will pray, with support from The Order of the Holy Paraclete at Whitby.  

If you would like to send in a prayer request, please complete the online request here. You can also email: [email protected] putting ‘Prayer request’ in the subject line.

If you would like to write your request for prayer, please post to: Prayers, Office of the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2GE.  

Please be aware that names may be shared with the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby and that personal responses may not be possible.

Other prayer requests can be submitted anytime here

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