Week of Kindness

Bishop David’s letter to congregations was read at our Sunday morning services on 6th November. The text of the letter is reproduced here but, if you’d like to find out more by visiting the ‘Love Your Neighbour’ website please use the link at the end of the list to the right of this post.

Dear Co-Workers,

In July, Birmingham led the way in responding to the increased number of reported hate crimes that occurred after the Referendum. People from a wide range of groups and organisations came together to pledge to love their neighbour and small acts of kindness were encouraged. Hundreds of banners and posters have been displayed across the city and region and the Love Your Neighbour movement has spread to other parts of the country.

Each Sunday, on average 15,000 people gather in the Church of England for services across our diocese and I would be thrilled if each one of you would commit to an act of kindness during Birmingham’s Week of Kindness. This will run from the 13th to 20th of November alongside Anti-Bullying Week and Interfaith Week. We need you to make sure this week is an opportunity for God’s love to be demonstrated through all sorts of people particularly reaching out to those who feel lonely, marginalised or excluded.

Mental health experts suggest that simple ways of connecting with people can make a huge difference to all of us. They recommend that we make sure we smile at people and say hello when we are out and about, that we strike up conversation when we are waiting in a queue or offer people random compliments. Kindness may also mean contacting a friend you have not seen for a while, inviting someone to your home for coffee – because face-to-face time with friends is much better for our relationships than keeping up via social media – or baking a cake for an elderly neighbour.

We’d like to hear about what you have done and how it went either on Twitter or Facebook, using #loveyourneighbour or, if you do not use social media, email info@loveyourneighbour.org.

In these times of change, uncertainty and conflict it is more important than ever that we respond to Jesus’s call to ‘let our light bring out the God-colours in the world,’ by living lives of generosity, hospitality and kindness. Jesus transformed the world with 12 friends – imagine what 15,000 of us could do by working together in the power of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate to the people around us just how much they are loved by God. May you have a blessed week of kindness!

Yours faithfully in Christ,

The Rt Revd David Urquhart

Bishop of Birmingham

 

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