Monthly Talking Point – May 2018

This month’s edition is provided by
Revd. David Jenkins

Centre of World News

Salisbury is a place for which I have considerable affection.

It was the place to which I was sent by the Methodist Conference to begin working as a minister.

It is the place in which my two children were born.

It is also by far the most beautiful place in which I have lived (even more so than Caversham!)

It is a place I love so much that I have composed a series of ten piano pieces called “The Salisbury Suite” picturing a walk I have often taken from where I first lived into the City Centre. (The Salisbury Suite is on CD and can be obtained from me if anyone is interested.)

At the moment of writing, however, Salisbury has become well known across the world, not because of its beauty, but because of an attempt on two people’s lives using an advanced chemical weapon. It looks highly likely that it was a direct attack on British soil by another State.

By the time Caversham Bridge is published, we may know a lot more about this particular crime and its international repercussions.

The events that have taken place in Salisbury remind us that things of great magnitude, for good or ill, can happen wherever we live, and that all people and places are interconnected.

Many people who have heard the word ‘Caversham’ may associate it with the monitoring of foreign governments and potential espionage.

Wherever we live we face situations of considerable challenge.

Like so many international news items these events in Salisbury speak of the depths of human callousness, but also of courage and responsibility in the initial response shown.

When this article is published in Caversham Bridge, Good Friday and Easter Sunday will have taken place. The followers of Jesus, see in his crucifixion the awfulness of how people can act, and, at the same time, extraordinary depths of courageous commitment and compassion.  And because of Easter they see that murder, duplicity, and all the worst actions human beings are capable of, do not have the last word about our life on this planet.

The resurrection of Jesus is the clearest indication of another power released into the world- the power of unconquerable love and transforming hope.

The challenge for each of us is about taking the side of all that affirms and safeguards our humanity, living out the hope and love so dynamically displayed at Easter.

Revd. David Jenkins is a member of the Methodist Team Ministry
and Co-Chair of Churches Together in Caversham