This Sunday’s post-election analysis will very much be in the air (although I do not know the result as I write this on Thursday), and so I thought Trinity Sunday might offer us a moment to reflect on the state of politics in the Anglo-American context: how do our current political belief systems that compete for dominance compare with characteristics of the Trinity? The significant image of the Trinity that St Augustine sets before us is that the Spirit is the bond of love which binds Father and Son together in love. Through the gracious action of God, the faithful are given the Spirit and so participate in this love: they are brought into perfect communion with each other and with God because they share in this bond of love. Pentecost, which we celebrated last week, is therefore about a sharing in this communion, a reconciliation of all things with God, symbolized in the undoing of the Tower of Babel.
What then disturbs me so much is that the rhetoric of our current political discourse has little to do with reconciliation and communion, but with division and violence. Recent months have seen ‘Take back control’, ‘America First’, ‘Strong and Stable Leadership’, ‘For the Many not the Few’, to name some of them. These slogans are predicated on the idea that there is a ‘them out there’ that want to get us, control us, exploit us, and that ‘we’ need to overthrow these people through heroic leadership to create a better world. To be a reconciler is to be weak and compromising, selling ‘our side’ out, and instead we need to behave as the superior class or nation that we are to gain our due rights. Indeed, the official reason for the election was the idea that strong government could force the EU into a better deal.
I am not sure from where all this language of jealousy and violence has come, but suspect it is as a result of secularization in many western societies. Humanitarian values that were once rooted in a Christian culture of charity and self-renunciation are now rootless positions that are unable to find support in a more fundamental set of values that explain why they are superior to a macho culture of national self-interest. Increasingly we find ourselves in a political culture that adopts a scapegoating attitude in which it is the evil and malice of others that is to blame for all our ills (EU regulation for instance), and then answers these threats with yet more vehement opposition.
The doctrine of the Trinity should remind us that God’s love is for all, not just the many of the majority, or even the few. Strong and stable are the characteristics of God’s love that finds true identity through relationships with others, rather than about leadership that plays power politics in order to defeat the other. God’s love is that which we seek first, not our own self-interest, and that the exercise of God’s love is not about gaining control, but rather is established to bring about peace and truth.
The Revd Canon Anthony Rustell
Welcome to the HMS Glamorgan Falklands’ Association attending this morning’s service.
Canon Peter is at Holy Trinity church, Privett this morning.
Robert Bear Picnic Party for the Roberts Centre 10.00am-4.00pm today at the Portsmouth City Museum Gardens. Free entry, bring a picnic with you to share with Robert Bear at 12.30pm!
The List and Events Listing The latest editions of our publications giving details of services and events are on the website and in the Welcome Area.
Christian Aid Week Sue Ward is delighted to announce that we have so far raised £2521.29 for Christian Aid, with a very high Gift Aid take up which will enable us to claim another £420.26, giving a current total £2941.55.
Portsmouth Hope Not Hate Interfaith Meal 9.00pm Thursday 22nd June at Eastney Methodist Church, Highland Road, PO4 9NH. If you would like to attend or for further details please contact Sarah Lovatt in the Offices.
Portsmouth Street Pastors are celebrating 10 years of ministry at 7.00pm Friday 23rd June at Oasis, Upper Arundel Street, PO1 1NP. If you would like to attend RSVP: email@example.com or 07809 627770.
Job Opportunity Seonaid will be moving away from Portsmouth in July. As a result there is an opportunity to join the staff team. Full-time Administrative Assistant (Liturgy and Music) and Cathedral Diary Administrator. Details http://portsmouthcathedral.org.uk/vacancies/
Chris Richardson We will be saying farewell to Chris our Shop Manager after the 10.30am Eucharist on Sunday 18th June. The service will be followed by a reception in the Nave. Contributions towards a leaving gift can be left with Nicky Taylor in the Cathedral Offices.
A Quiet Mid-Summer Afternoon in an Emsworth home and garden. 2.00-4.30pm Wednesday 21st June 2017. ‘The Wounded Healer – letting Jesus touch your life’ led by the Revd Dr Ruth Tuschling. Drinks and strawberries provided. Suggested donation £5.00. Transport from the Cathedral can be arranged. Places limited, please contact the Cathedral Shop.
Parking, on Sunday mornings, at the West end of Cathedral is available for members of the congregation in need who are not eligible for a blue badge. During the week, parking for volunteers is available subject to operational requirements. All parking requests must be made in advance to the Cathedral Offices and the issued permits must be displayed at all times.
Fabric works The installation of the kitchenette in the cloister is almost complete. We would like to thank the Friends of Portsmouth Cathedral for their contribution towards the cost of this work. A new drop-down baby change table will be fitted in the accessible toilet later this month. Further details about the Friends of Portsmouth Cathedral are available at http://portsmouthcathedral.org.uk/get-involved/.
Silver Screen 2.00pm Tuesday 13th June. “My Fair Lady” (1964). Our bi-monthly film screening following Cathedral Lunch Club in Becket Hall.
Lunchtime Live 1.10pm Thursday 15th June: Rupert Jackson and Stephen Crookes (Piano Duo). Refreshments from 12.30pm. Retiring collection.
Art Exhibition – Hampshire Calligraphers: ‘Planet Earth – a Calligraphic Celebration’, until 15th June in the Welcome area.
Cathedral Club 2.45pm Thursday 22nd June in Becket Hall. The Revd Canon Peter Cotton “Bird Watching in India”. All welcome. Free, donation if staying for tea.
Portsmouth Festivities 16th-25th June 2017. 10 days of arts, culture and heritage for all. Events at the Cathedral include:
Opening Gala Concert: The Maggini Quartet featuring Peter Donohoe 8.00pm Friday 16th June.
‘They Called it Passchendaele’ – exhibition by Portsmouth Poetry until Friday 14th July.
Seafood on the Green 12.00–2:30pm Saturday 17th June. The Annual Seafood Lunch Under Canvas. Live music, bar, seafood tastings. Tickets available from the Cathedral Shop. Proceeds in aid of Fishermen’s Mission and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choirs Association.
Parkour Workshops Saturday 17th June.
The Angels Cry 8.00pm Tuesday 20th June. A performance commemorating the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele. Poetry, dance, music and projections. ‘They called it Passchendaele’ an exhibition marking the centenary continues until 14 July.
Gala Organ Concert: Wayne Marshall 8.00pm Saturday 24th June. Pre- concert talk 5.00pm.
Details www.portsmouthfestivities.co.uk or in the booklets. Tickets from 023 9282 8282.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those affected by acts of terrorism
All those in need including: Aidan, Vic, Martin, Jill, Brian, Tim, and Graeme.
And those who have died: Aileen Manning, and Elizabeth McCutcheon RIP
The full notices are here: Notices 11 June 2017