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A short reflection and prayer to begin the day with Canon Simon Doogan, Church of Ireland Rector of Ballyholme in Bangor Co Down

2 minutes

Last on

Tue 5 Feb 2019 05:43

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Good morning.

In Belfast when I was a curate

elderly parishioners described streets black with bodies

as twenty thousand odd people swarmed

to the city’s rope works, linen mills, aircraft factories and shipyards.

They spoke proudly of trades learned, machinery operated

and large-scale hardware exported – until they ceased to be competitive.


The new language of industry

is sustainability, globalisation and digitalisation

as on the agenda today and tomorrow in Brussels at two Industry Days.

A far cry from the Industrial Revolution

which so many root in the forces unleashed

by the Reformation, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

 And perhaps the fact that so many leading British industrialists

were professing Christians isn’t surprising.


Even modern travellers to Bible lands marvel

at the remains of some of the grand designs

that rose up from that ancient soil.

They were undertaken with God, for God

or sometimes even in spite of God’s express disapproval.

Jesus’ words

about not a stone of the Jerusalem temple remaining intact

have haunted many a Church-restoring vicar,

yet on balance, the Scriptures see tearing down and destroying

as the worst of human instincts, building and planting as the best.


As for Belfast,

now it’s lightweight, smart and virtual image which the city feeds to the world

plus ironically a tourist industry rejoicing in its rich industrial past.

Though for anyone with a spiritual vision

for a purposeful, productive and fully employed society

that very capacity for reinvention is God-given.


God who scoped and schemed the earth and heavens

show us what to do with our minds and our hands

to make this world better for today’s children

and to protect it for tomorrow’s. Amen