You can read the full transcript of the reflection below.
I want to finish this series of thoughts and poems and prayers for hope in our world by reading in a moment Tennyson's very famous little poem, 'Crossing the Bar', which is about death and the end of life, but also filled with hope. And Tennyson always said that in his books of poetry it should be the last poem published in the book.
I first came across this poem when Blanche, who was this wonderful lady I knew in the parish where I first served in Lewisham in south London - she knew it by heart and recited it to me often when I visited her. She was an astonishing lady who was a source of hope. Even though she was virtually housebound she was never alone, because there was always people visiting her, visiting her because it was so good to be with her, that when you were with her you somehow felt close to Christ. She shone on people, like we heard in that poem and prayer from John Henry Newman.
And I remember when she was right at the very end of her life I remember holding her hand and she again recited this poem that she loved. And I offer it now in hope for our world that as we travel through what is going to be a difficult and challenging year ahead, we may, in the words of the poem, see our pilot face to face. Let Christ lead us into his kingdom of justice and peace, here in this life, and also beyond it. So, this is Tennyson's 'Crossing the Bar'.
"Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea, but such a tide as moving seems asleep, too full for sound and foam, when that which drew from out the boundless deep turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell when I embark: for though from out our bourne of Time and Place the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar."
Please send me your hopes your prayers for our world this year and we will pray for them here at Bishopthorpe and at Whitby that our world may know the hope and peace of Christ.
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 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