6 Apr 2020 • General news
Half of my work is as chaplain to Ark St Alban's Academy. The Academy is a Church of England school, but it is also a multi faith school. Even within Christianity we have people from a variety of denominations, Catholic and Pentecostal as well as Church of England. Many of our staff and students are Muslim and we also have Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and those with no religious belief. In our mission statement we say that we want to help everyone, whatever their faith, ‘to make the most of their God given talents’.
For those of us with a religious faith, this pandemic is a time to look to God for strength and hope. I believe that God has given us (the human race) the ability and talents to overcome the present crisis. Having said that, I don’t believe God takes away the responsibility or the consequences of our actions. Let me give you an example: some religious groups believe that they can meet together in this present crisis and they will not spread the virus among themselves. I believe that is false faith. True faith is to thank God for the intelligence and knowledge that we have, and to use that intelligence and knowledge to fight this pandemic. True faith is looking to God to give us strength, perseverance and resilience during this time of isolating ourselves.
For me, it is also a matter of faith to believe in the talents and skills God has given our doctors, nurses, health staff and scientists. It is part of my faith to pray for them, their work, and the many people who are seriously ill with Covid-19. I also pray that we will learn from this current crisis not to take the environment for granted and exploit it without thinking of the consequences.