Those of you who are parents or grandparents will recognise this phrase as one cried repeatedly by all children through the ages. ‘It isn’t fair’ protest groups and individuals today as the Government take steps to deal with our economic crisis. ‘It isn’t fair’ underlies the desperate plea for help from people torn apart by war, famine and natural disaster as they watch the wealthy western world spending billions on space research and weapons for self protection while they suffer
‘It isn’t fair’ was the theme of a most meaningful address by the Right Revd. Nigel Stock, Bishop of St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich, to a packed congregation in St. Mary’s Parish Church, Woodbridge, on Sunday, 17th. October. He was with us to confirm twenty four adults and young people who had gathered, supported by family and friends, for this special day in their lives. Candidates from St. Mary’s had been prepared for confirmation over many months by the Rector, Revd. Canon Kevan McCormack and the Assistant Curate, Revd. Paul Hambling, and they were joined by candidates from St. Felix Church, Rendlesham, together with their Team Vicar, the Revd. Janice Leaver.
The many voices of St. Mary’s choir, led by Mr. Bob Pegnall and organist Mr. Malcolm Russell, inspired the singing which raised the rafters in this magnificent building. As each candidate stood in turn before the Bishop, they received the laying on of hands, anointing with oil and the gift of a tiny wooden cross, made in Bethlehem. After the service, lighted candles were presented to the newly confirmed, who posed for the photograph with Bishop Nigel
Confirmation Sunday is always a very special occasion at St. Mary’s. And for those of us who were confirmed years ago, it serves as a reminder of the meaning of this step along our faith journey. At Baptism, promises were made on our behalf by parents and godparents. At Confirmation, we take these vows for ourselves – a new beginning, as Bishop Nigel described it.
In many ways, the children are right: it isn’t fair; life isn’t fair. But, fair to whom? For most of the time, our cry of ‘it isn’t fair’ reflects our own feeling of need, of being left out, of a sense of injustice toward ourselves. But, if we can turn that around to see the unfairness in the lives of others, to become aware of their cry for help, then we are shown the way to serve and be of service. This was the clear message from the Bishop. In words from the service, ‘help us to work together for that day when justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.
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