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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

13 April 2016: Sylvia Roberts, St Peter's Church

Better Together?

On 23 June, Referendum Day, when we vote on whether to remain in the European Union or to withdraw you may consider that we will be "Better Together" with Europe and so vote to remain. Alternatively you may believe that we are "Better Together" with the people who call these islands home and so vote to leave. We can read those two words quite ambiguously and interpret them as we please.

In St Peter's - "the church in The Square" we are going to exploring the meaning of those two words quite intensely in the next three months because the Vicar, Canon Will Hughes, is taking a sabbatical to recharge his spiritual and physical batteries. Much planning has gone into covering all his pastoral, liturgical and administrative roles while he is away. Diocesan clergy will be leading some of the Sunday services but the majority of the responsibility will fall upon the lay people in the congregation, the readers and those in training and on the four retired clergy who normally act in honorary and supportive roles.

So we will be finding out whether we are "better together" as a team with a variety of gifts or if we shall be longing for the vicar to return to resume his leadership role.

In this post-Easter season we are thinking a great deal about Jesus' appearances to his disciples after resurrection. They knew in that time that they were "better together". They found strength and comfort in meeting together and when Jesus did appear to them he encouraged that togetherness as they talked together, shared food and made plans for the future.

In our various churches, clubs, workplaces, organisations and families there are always the day-to-day challenges of co-operation and consideration but surely in any situation we are "better together" than at loggerheads?

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