We live at a time when there is an urgent need to articulate a fresh narrative about the English nation now enriched as it is in this great cosmopolitan city with people who bring their own distinctive narratives. After the financial crisis what we seem to be offered so frequently is the prospect of a return to “normality” defined in exclusively economic terms. Is it not already clear that we must prepare for a new normal, a narrative about Our Island Story which is realistic about our changed place in the world but which contains the seeds of hope?
The Book of Common Prayer which immerses us in the whole symphony of scripture; which takes us through the Psalms every month; which makes available in a digestible but noble way the treasury of ancient Christian devotion has a beauty which is ancient but also fresh. If our civilisation is to have a future the roots must be irrigated and the texts which we choose to pass on to our children have the power to create a community which does not merely dwell in the flatlands of getting and spending but which sees visions with prophets, pursues wisdom with Solomon and lives with the generosity of the God who so loved the world that he was generous and gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.