Thought for the Day - 03/10/2013 - Bishop Tom Butler
Good Morning. At this time of the year my greenhouse has rather too many green tomatoes in it. On Tuesday at York St John University I asked a crop scientist how I might ripen them. She told me to pick them and put them in paper bags together with a ripening banana. Apparently the skin of the banana provides an atmosphere of ethylene gas which helps ripen the fruit of the tomato. I’ll try it.
Of course this is also the time of the year when the party conferences are finishing and it seems to me that this year something similar has been going on between the conferences. As one follows another the language and the atmosphere of political passion has been picked up and has spilled over from one to another so that this year, instead of the more usual bland speaking to the middle ground, the distinctive fruit of each of the parties begins to ripen and become clearer. As we head towards a general election in a couple of years' time this clarity of choice might well be good for democracy, although I hope that we can avoid personal attacks on party leaders, and at the moment we also have a warning from America of what happens when political parties become so distinctive that they won’t talk to one another – shut down.
This process of mutual ripening isn’t confined to tomatoes or political parties, there’s a small news item tucked away which tells of an interesting development in a theological college in Oxfordshire which for many years has trained new clergy for ministry. There are too many of them to fit comfortably into the existing buildings and so a community of nuns who had become too few for their convent buildings have moved to the college, and rebuilt their convent in the heart of the grounds including the construction of a beautiful oval shaped chapel, big enough for convent and college, which has been short listed for a major architectural prize, and that’s what brought things into the news...