In a week which saw the first session of the new General Synod of the Church of England, and also the usual crop of meetings, discussions and the odd little local difficulty as we continue to try to move forward in mission here, the Collect for St Hugh of Lincoln, whom we celebrate on 17th November, struck me as just the job.
O holy God,
you endowed your servant and bishop Hugh of Lincoln with wise and cheerful boldness,
and taught him to commend to earthly rulers the discipline of holy life:
give us grace like him to be bold in the service of the Gospel
putting our confidence in Christ alone;
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
For many years till ordination I was a governor of the village school, and each year our "assigned inspect0r" would come to a target-setting meeting, at which we were asked to confirm both our realistic predictions for those miserable SATS and also our "aspirational goals". Sometimes I feel as if the whole experience of Christian ministry is the pursuit of an endless series of "aspirational goals", so for this week "wise and cheerful boldness" would seem worth aiming for.