Here is my script from this morning’s Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2. I met Michael Buble in the studio – which was nice – and then did my stuff as follows. But, I had to drop the second line of the song quote, so will add it at the end!
I’ve been on the road recently and you know what it’s like when you spend hours on trains – you can only read so much and then your mind begins to wander. Randomly sometimes. Well, I was coming back from Germany last Sunday and was reading a pile of stuff, all of which sort of suggested that the world was about to end. And then, somewhere in the murky depths of my memory, the line of a song poked up:
The world won’t end in darkness, it’ll end in family fun…*
It was the Beautiful South some years ago in a snarly little song called ‘One God’. But, you can understand the sentiment – the world’s turned plastic!
At some point every generation thinks it might be the last. Relatively minor issues take on ultimate importance and we can’t conceive of life continuing differently. Well, maybe it’s time for a bit of perspective. For example, when I was younger, and getting very excited about some issues, I learned to ask myself this question: in the context of the entire history of the entire universe, does this matter? Clearly, not everything did. When I was a vicar in Leicestershire I used to baptise in a Norman font – which had been used for a thousand years – and we would drink Communion wine from a chalice that had been used for nearly 500 years. Through wars and Reformation and disasters and all the stuff of the world and so on.
And guess what? Life carried on.
I am in London because the General Synod votes today on whether or not to allow women to be bishops. Some are saying that it will be a disaster if we do… and a disaster if we don’t. But, whichever way it goes, it won’t be the end of the world – whatever people say as they raise the emotional stakes. Wednesday will surely come; the sun will rise; we will still be here; life will carry on; and, hopefully, one day, the Beautiful South will cheer up and re-form to prove it.
[*”The world won’t end in darkness, it’ll end in family fun / with Coca Cola clouds behind a Big Mac sun.”]