Bishop David Chillingworth, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, gave Thought For The Day twice on BBC Radio Scotland during January.
At the start of the month, he considered New Year resolutions and predictions, and suggested focusing instead on aspirations as we look to the year ahead.
“We are still living with the effects of the pandemic and we know that unpredictability does not discriminate,” said Bishop David, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. “But there are real differences between life in the developed and the developing worlds. Think of the Pacific Islanders who watch the ever-rising sea levels which threaten their homes. Or the migrants who make risky journeys in their search for home, job, dignity.
“Perhaps we should choose aspiration rather than predication – not just take whatever happens for better or worse but work for a more compassionate world, a world which finds it impossible to be indifferent to the suffering of others, a world in which, when the unpredictable happens as it surely will, there are resources to relieve suffering, provide shelter, protect the weak.”
The full broadcast can be heard here at the 1:22:43 mark.
Later in the month, he looked at the shifts in religious practice following a speculative report that Prince William, heir to the throne, might choose not to be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and have the title ‘Defender of the Faith.’ Meanwhile, figures indicate a drop in worship numbers south of the border.
“What matters in the end is the reality of faith commitment,” said Bishop David, “the faith which among other things shapes values and moral attitudes.
“Values like compassion and a passion for justice are not the sole preserve of people of faith – of course they aren’t. But faith helps to make those things explicit – shaping a society in which people in need should be helped not blamed and where the kind of large scale injustice which we have seen recently in the Post Office scandal shouldn’t be able to happen.”
The full broadcast can be heard here at the 1:22:54 mark.