Archbishop of York Lights A Candle to Remember Madeleine
The Archbishop's column in The Sun today talks about the search for
Madeleine McCann, the importance of affordable, healthy food for all
children and being good news wherever you go. Full text of his column
Never Give Up Hope
Have you seen the new images that have been created to show how
Madeleine McCann might look today?
It is now over 5 years since Madeleine went missing. We should never
give up hope that she will be found alive. I regularly pray for her and
her parents and for all other missing children that they may be safe,
free from fear and anxiety.
There seem to be some new leads which is heartening news.
I spoke to her mother, Kate, at a vigil in York Minster for another
‘disappeared’ daughter, Claudia Lawrence. She told me that it was only
after Madeleine was taken from them that she and her husband Gerry
learned how many children go missing each year from all around the
world. The scale of the problem is so huge, it’s surprising we don’t
hear more about it.
Can you imagine the pain of parents when their son or daughter is
abducted or disappears. Thinking every day of the fear, confusion and
insecurity their child is suffering. All over the world, there are
parents who are living with this sadness.
I have put up the new image on the wall in my Chapel next to the photo
of how she looked when she was abducted. Please join me in praying for
her safe return. Each child is special, so very special.
Will you please join me in asking that their guardian angels will
protect them and that they are reunited with their loved ones.
Lord Jesus, loving shepherd, hear our prayer for Madeleine and all
missing children. Amen.
Food Glorious Food
Jamie Oliver is absolutely right. Good food matters. I love it!
As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe in prayer and parties – and
parties mean good food. Have you ever spotted how much the gospels say
about Jesus sitting down to a meal with people?
Jamie’s plea, this week in The Sun, to put good food back on the table
is so important – especially for our nation’s children.
We want our children to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Healthy meals are an important part of decent education.
What we generously offer to our young people has a lot to what we get
out of them. If we want productive, enthusiastic and engaged young
people we need to nurture their hearts, minds, bodies and souls.
A healthy meal at lunchtime improves children’s concentration and can
have a positive impact on classroom behaviour. Nutritious school meals
for disadvantaged children can also help develop healthy eating habits
and will eventually decrease health inequalities.
More than half of all school children living in poverty - 1.2 million -
are missing out on free school meals – and a further 700,000 of children
living in poverty are not entitled to free school meals at all,
according to The Children’s Society’s latest report.
The Psalm sung in Church today says: “The poor will eat and be satisfied
– those who seek the Lord will praise him – may your hearts live
forever.” Let us seek justice and fairness for those facing tough times
– a healthy meal should be something everyone has access to in this day
We need a Food Revolution - 91% of UK adults believe that all children
living in poverty should receive free school meals. Well done to Jamie
and The Sun for speaking up for decent nutritional school meals for all.
And you know, I believe in saying ‘Grace’ before meals. A thankful heart
savours what is offered.
Being Good News Wherever You Go
I was reading the story this week in the Bible of Philip and the
Ethiopian eunuch – a Chancellor of the Exchequer. I’m glad that treasury
ministers don’t have to be eunuchs these days, but we won’t go there.
The Ethiopian is travelling on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip
is told by an angel to get in the man’s chariot and explain to him that
what he is reading and not getting is about a man called Jesus who was
crucified and rose again. And he wants the eunuch to know that his past
sins can be forgiven, offered new life and hope for the future.
All of us can BE the good news through our actions not just through our
By the time you read this, I’ll be on a 7 hour plane flight. I wonder
who will be travelling with me, and what conversations I shall get into
this next week.
Journeys are great times to think about things, and ask the question –
‘where have I come from?’ And ‘where is life going?’
Perhaps like that Ethiopian, you will soon make the amazing discovery of
God’s love in Jesus Christ? If so, do what he did, make a new beginning,
and be filled with the Spirit of God! Read all about it in Acts 8 verses
25 to 40.