A little word
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3.28 (NRSV)
In the Church calendar today it was a commemoration of William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson. Wilberforce, a Yorkshire lad from Hull, we are probably more familiar with.
Olaudah Equiano (1745-97) was only around ten years old when he was kidnapped from his home in West Africa and sold as a slave. He wrote of the slave ships: ‘The shrieks of the women and the groans of the dying rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable.’
It took Equiano 20 years to save enough money to buy his freedom. Once he was free, he campaigned relentlessly in Britain for the end of slavery. His work turning the hearts and minds of the British people against slavery laid the foundation for Wilberforce’s Abolition Bill getting through parliament.
Equiano didn’t take his freedom for granted, sit back and say, ‘Thank God I’m free.’ He used his freedom – and his experiences of slavery – to ‘buy’ freedom for other people. Equiano and Wilberforce were heroes of the faith. Their actions influenced thousands, and brought an end to a terrible injustice.
But injustices still exist today. And if we believe, along with Paul, that we are all one in Christ then we cannot sit on our hands. We need to draw strength from the reformers and abolitionists and work to help create what we believe in, where vision becomes reality.
New for this week
If you’d like to join us on Sunday morning, here is a reminder of the link. The link is the same every week.
Meeting ID: 303 159 289 Password: 597076
Alternatively, for audio only, you can phone in to this number: 0131 460 1196, and follow the instructions.
We start to gather online from 10.00, our service starts properly at 10.30.
This week’s reading is Matthew 14. 13-21
Things to pray for
Give thanks for someone who has personally inspired you in your faith
For the Cathedral staff & choir amidst the upset and misunderstandings
For the scientists and medics working on vaccines and programmes to keep us safe
Update on re-opening
We are finalising plans to enable limited re-opening of our building. It is a complex balance of weighing risk and being able to offer something that will work and feel both welcoming and reverent. To emphasise again, it will be small scale and is aimed at those who can’t do on-line services. Zoom will continue for some time yet.
Earlier week’s news
Previous editions of this news update are on the website if you can’t find it in your in-box.