As the still fairly new Parish Priest of Charlestown, Par and Tywardreath, it felt good to be invited to lead prayers at the St Austell Council Offices at the start of a new council and mark a fresh phase of our public life together. Whether the councillors agree politically or not – and I am sure there is more ‘not’ – they have been elected to work together for the common good. It was in that spirit of good will that we spent a short time of prayer and reflection together.
We prayed especially for all those new to the chamber that their hearts and minds would be guided in the spirit of fairness, careful thought and speech. We also prayed for those returning to chamber for a further period of public service. And we gave thanks for those who were not returned and mark their contributions over the years with gratitude.
I asked God to bless their meetings with divine intelligence, and impart his supreme wisdom upon the activities of this council so that the affairs of public office may attain successful outcomes for all. We prayed a prayer of thanksgiving:
Dear wise and loving God, thank you on behalf of all who are gathered here today. Thank you for your many and abundant blessings. Thank you for life itself, for the measure of health we need to fulfil our callings, for sustenance and for friendship. Thank you for the ability to be involved in useful work and for the honour of bearing appropriate responsibilities. Help us to commit ourselves to promote peace and order and justice. We pray for this assembled council.
I asked, the Lord, that he would graciously grant them the good qualities necessary for public office which included:
Wisdom to govern amid the conflicting interests and issues of our times
A sense of the welfare and true needs of our people
A keen thirst for justice and rightness
Confidence in what is good and fitting
The ability to work together in harmony even
when there is honest disagreement
Personal peace in their lives and joy in their task
My prayer for the grant of these good qualities extends equally to the members of St Blazey Town Council and Par Parish Council and to all new and on-going members of Cornwall Council. We give thanks for the contribution of those who were not returned and are grateful for their years of hard work. So, let us all reflect in a moment of silence as we consider what would please God and what would benefit those who live and work in this area.
Your friend and Parish Priest