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06/07/2017

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Canon Stephen Shipley, Radio Producer and broadcaster.

2 minutes

Last on

Thu 6 Jul 2017 05:43

Script

Good morning. If you were asked to nominate your perfect companion to accompany you on a desert island – along with the statutory eight discs, the Bible and the volume of Shakespeare – I wonder who you’d choose. I imagine you’d want someone with a sense of humour – who doesn’t take life too seriously. They’d need to be capable of thinking for themselves, to have plenty of courage and yet be gracious and supportive. My ideal companion would be the man we honour today – Thomas  More - executed on this day in 1535 because he wouldn’t agree to Henry VIII’s divorcing his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. More was a man of high principle – warm hearted but also determined  - and he had a secret inner life that was deep and close to God. The renowned actor, Paul Scofield, played him in one of the finest films ever made, ‘A Man for all Seasons‘. I was fortunate enough to be given that part in the school play when I was in the sixth form and I must admit I count it as one of the most significant things I’ve done in my life. So what’s so special about this man? He was, as he said himself, ‘the King’s good servant but God’s first.’ Sadly we look around at the world’s leaders today and see much hypocrisy and lack of trust between them. Humility and sensitivity don’t always seem to be the order of the day. So let’s pray a prayer written by Thomas More as he languished in the Tower of London awaiting trial. And let’s dedicate it to all in positions of responsibility: Give me – give them, good Lord - a humble, lowly, peaceable, kind and tender mind that in all our works, all our words and all our thoughts, we may have a taste of your holy blessed Spirit.  Amen.

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