Fr Tom Writes

Hi, this is my message to the Parish this week,

In ten years time will you remember where you were when Harry and Meghan got married? I remember where I was when Diana died and when pope Benedict and Francis were elected, but I don’t remember clearly where I was for William and Kate’s wedding. If you are a mega Royalist, you will have had this wedding in your diary for months, you may even have a party planned and bunting out. If you are not a Royalist, you might remember this wedding more for the circus that has ensued in the run up to the big day; what the media are dubbing the ‘Markle debacle’. Unfortunately for the Windsor’s and Meghan, the debacle has involved her family whom she appears to be quite distant from. As the media focus in on this, it could be easy to forget what brought Harry and Meghan together and what makes them such an impressive couple.

At the heart of who they are is their work for countless charities. Harry has been instrumental in setting up the Invictus games to help injured servicemen, like my cousin who had his leg blown off in Afghanistan. He also helped William and Kate to set up Heads Together, the mental health charity to help so many who suffer in silence with mental health issues. Meghan has been patron to One Young Vision, One World and UN Women. She is a passionate advocate of women’s rights especially in countries where women are marginalised and discriminated against. It is their passion for helping others that brought them to each other’s attention. In many ways their relationship is founded on their desire to do good for and help others.

That is all very well I hear some of you say, if I was that rich and had that much time on my hands I could do that too. Yes, that is a good point but the Royal Family (maybe inspired by Diana), have reinvented themselves as servants of charities and they are using their privileged position to lead by example in helping others. Harry, a Prince who knows he is very unlikely to inherit the throne, and his brother have helped charity after charity, and go out of their way to highlight good causes.

Maybe there is a lesson for all of us there, he has had choices and has chosen to help others. Meghan, even despite her fame and popularity, wanted to make a difference in the world. We all have choices and many feel that working an honest day and raising a family are challenging enough. And they are, but we also make choices, do we choose to be comfortable and live life on our terms or do we seek to make a difference to the lives of others?

While the Royal wedding might be a great time to have a party and a bit of fun, it can also be an opportunity for us to examine our priorities. Are we wrapped up in our own drama, or do we spend time and effort helping those who are struggling and less advantaged than ourselves. As a church, called to serve, maybe the example of the new royal couple will give us cause to question: How effectively do we make a difference to the lives of others?

Fr Tom