Rector’s message 22nd July

I first met Revd John Ochola from Gulu, Uganda,  in 2006

I was speaking this afternoon to our contact in Northern Uganda, Rev’d John Ochola, who as well as being an Anglican priest, is a community leader helping to organise responses to the challenges facing the people there. The cost of living crisis there is causing malnutrition and even starvation for some children. This year so far there has been hardly any rain. Crops cannot be grown and food prices are rocketing in the market. As a church we support with an annual grant the community-based organisation, CIFORD, which John leads in its work to feed hungry families. CIFORD is also planning to build small dams to retain water and biogas units to provide power and also fertiliser from cattle manure.

I am struck by the resilience and hopefulness of John and his community organisation as they respond to their challenges. In the same way, we see neighbours here in our own community rising up to meet the challenges we face in our community as  increasing numbers of families are unable to find the money after paying the essential bills to buy enough food. So often what matters more than simply what is happening, is how we respond, or even whether we respond at all.  In our newsletter today there are inspiring examples of positive responses to challenges – to the  Ukrainian situation, Christians being persecuted, the climate crisis, or food poverty in our community.  Whilst we lament the losses and suffering that these challenges bring, we give thanks for the love and the generosity that comes in response.

Canon David Hodgson

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