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A Letter from our new Bishop of Winchester

Dear Friends,

FEEDING OUR SOULS

A few years ago I shared the importance of ‘feeding our souls’. With the benefit of hindsight the timing of this encouragement was opportune, since it was shortly before the pandemic. During the pandemic it proved difficult to meet in person and we needed to find strength from our personal reserves of faith to overcome the many hardships that we faced at that time.

In his ‘whatever’ passage, the apostle Paul suggests, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)

During my study leave when I was researching “Spirituality in older age” it became clearer to me that rather than ‘doing’ lots of things, e.g. attending church so many times a week, reading so much of the Bible every day, praying for a certain length of time, and so on to grow our spirituality, the Christian life is more about ‘being’ i.e. being secure in our place as children of the living God. It is about surrendering ourselves to God’s grace and mercy and ‘feeding our souls’.

Some practical ways of ‘feeding our souls’ may include:

  1. Going on walks in the countryside, taking in the beauty of creation

  2. Spending more time reading or listening to Christian books

  3. Listening to inspirational music or talks

As we move into a season of lighter and longer days, rather than filling them with endless jobs, tasks or entertainment, may we find ways of ‘feeding our souls’ by ‘being’ in God’s presence wherever we are. Let’s take a lead from St. Augustine whose prayer was:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

 

God bless,

Andy

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