The Bishop's Comment: What do you see?

30th August 2022

The Bull, dragged into the Alexander Stadium at the opening of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, made a dramatic impact. 'What did you come to see?' Athletes? National teams? Pop stars? Volunteers for Peaky Blinders? All of those things and more.

Now the thousands of international visitors and millions of worldwide media viewers have moved on, the Bull remains, between the Hall of Memory and the City Library, (given a sideways glance by the Queen's great-grandfather). 

What do you see? One TV viewer emailed her distress at the 'setting up of a golden calf at the heart of the games, adored by hundreds of worshippers, just like the Israelites waiting for Moses to come down the mountain'. Most people saw a powerful facing of our industrial history in the chain women of Birmingham, who in the drama overcame their hard labour to lighten the load and take their full part in society. 

Looking out into the autumn of 2022 and beyond we will do well to try to see clearly. Receiving the truth of the past as a stimulus to a just, equitable present, seeking a future with opportunity for all. 

Between the Memory and the Learning stands the challenge to each of us to be part of a transformed city, drawing if we will from the eternal source of faith that, for Christians, can be faced with courage and determination because "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth". (John 1:14)