Dear Friends  

                                                              Promoting Understanding

                                                   Keeping Our “Whits and Wits” about us

This month, on the 19th May, the Church celebrates Pentecost which is one of the great feast days of the Christian year. It will be known to many of us as Whitsun and, until 1972, there used to be a public holiday on the following Monday to mark the great day.

There is some doubt as to how the day became known as Whitsun. Many think that it is because of the fact that those being baptised at Pentecost wore white which became shortened to 'whit'. Another idea is that the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'wit', meaning 'understanding'.

Whether or not Whitsun derives from a word for understanding, the idea that it does appeals to me. When we celebrate Pentecost (Whitsun), we mark the time when God’s Holy Spirit descended on the Church. People were all babbling away in their own languages but, when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they all understood what everybody else was saying - irrespective of background, nationality or language spoken.

We live in a world where there always needs to be greater understanding between people. Wars and rumours of wars are always with us. We need to do all that we can to work for peace and to encourage people to live in a harmony where everyone’s voice can be heard and understood, where disagreements can be dealt with rationally and peaceably and where difference can be treated with respect. It can be all too easy to feel so overwhelmed by the strife and conflict that we see in the world that we simply think that we can do nothing about it. However, I believe that nothing that we do good is in vain and I think of one of my favourite hymns that begins with the words, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’

With grace, peace and every blessing

Fr Paul

Revd Canon K Paul Arthur

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