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Strong at the Broken Places

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 12 April 2015

As ME struck, Dean Michael Mayne wrote a diary describing how he almost came to a dead end.

However as his body was painfully broken by illness, his faith, far from deserting him, became stronger.

Looking back, I have stumbled across many poignant examples of ‘strong at the broken places’ people. A new spirit emerged in Chetham’s School in Manchester after the IRA bomb seriously damaged the building. As communities in Wiltshire faced disease on the farms, they became stronger, gathering round their village churches for support. Through faith and good works, our fledgling Northampton Academy, at the heart of a broken neighbourhood, became a stronger school, a place of flourishing. In the Sudan, if you want to find real strength, talk to the inspirational women struggling to become educated so they can rise out of poverty. And at St Martin’s, the torn cloak and the Connection point towards God reshaping broken fragments into new wholeness.

For me, some dark times have seemed to be the end of everything. However Church, friends and family have given me confidence to acknowledge brokenness which then has the potential to become a strong cornerstone for future growth.

So it is with doubting Thomas. When asking for proof on meeting the risen Jesus, he is not offered words but wounds and from the broken body comes new life.

As I move from St Martin’s to retire in the north-west of England, I want to thank my friends here for your inclusivity and your music but most of all for your tangible glimpses of Easter joy. It has been a privilege to belong for over 10 years to a community that is truly strong at the broken places and may you continue to ‘Live His risen life’ in all that you do.

The Rt Revd Peter Hullah