30 June 2010

Sermon for Corpus Christi

This is the text from a sermon for Corpus Christi at the Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre, United Service, 2010. Sorry it's long! 

For an Anglican to be asked to preach at a Roman Catholic Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi is something that can only happen somewhere like this! I’m honoured to have been asked, even though Father Hugh hadn’t realised what day it was when he asked me to preach.

As this is a united service, and as we all have a different experience of church, I thought it would be worth beginning with some explanation about the fairly Catholic feast day we celebrate today. Corpus Christi is a celebration of the importance and centrality of communion in the church. In some parts of the world, there are bright and boisterous processions of the blessed sacrament, and the day is a big deal! Here in the UK, it tends to be a more sober affair, if it is celebrated at all!

As a Philosophy graduate, I was tempted, for a very brief moment, to deal with some of the nitty gritty theology and philosophy of the eucharist, but common sense got the better of me, and I decided on a different tack.

Communion at Chaplaincy
By the time we leave Lancaster in September, it will be 13 years since I arrived at the university and discovered this rather odd expression of “church” on the campus. It’s very tempting to become acclimatised to Chaplaincy; to begin to think of it as normal. But it really isn’t!

One of the things that marks Lancaster’s Chaplaincy out against other ecumenical church communities is its approach to communion. In many ecumenical settings, communion is avoided at all costs, because it is felt to be a difficult area; a source of dispute and disagreement between the different traditions (and sometimes within individual denominations). At Lancaster, the ‘united service’ is a sign of hope for greater Christian unity, though I acknowledge that for some it is unsatisfactory and clumsy in theological terms. It gives an opportunity for each of us to see another way and a different approach, and it allows our views and opinions about communion to be challenged and refreshed. This has to be a good thing! For all of us. Even if it isn’t always a comfortable experience.

Meals and hospitality
I have a strong memory of A level English Literature classes. We were studying Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and we were asked to brainstorm on some of the key themes in the book. As we got further into the exercise, it became very clear that food was a very significant theme, and it got its own section of the whiteboard with an expanding spider diagram detailing the different references to food we could each recall.

I thought of this occasion when I began to think about writing this sermon. Like Great Expectations, food is a matter of great importance in the bible, and, more specifically, the act of eating together is something which is documented on many occasions, as we heard in our readings this morning. As well as the examples we’ve just heard, there are many famous occasions where Jesus takes time to eat with people: sinners, tax collectors, women with dubious reputations... the list goes on and on! According to one source on the internet, there are over 700 references to eating in the bible, and I can well believe it.

I could go on for some time recalling significant instances of meals in the bible, and my point here is that, just like Great Expectations, this isn’t a coincidence. The presentation of food and the sharing of meals is there for a reason.

Especially in the New Testament, the importance of sharing meals, and of hospitality, is that this is one of Jesus’ key ways of putting people at ease, and relating to them in a very natural way.

When we eat together, we tend not to do so in stony silence! We usually spend our time chatting, recalling common experiences and learning more about our dining companions. If you attend a dinner party with people you don’t know, you would usually hope to have made some new friends by the end of the evening. And so it is with Jesus. By inviting and enabling people to eat together, his primary concern is not with their dietary wellbeing! He’s not checking they’re getting their 5 a day or to see if they’re drinking too much wine! He wants his guests to spend time together, relating to each other and getting to know each other. And he wants to get to know them too! In all of these things, Jesus is setting a perfect example of building community and enacting communion.

In the communion service as we now know it, we are not invited to partake in an act of solitary dietary sustenance. Instead, we are invited to eat together and to share a meal with Jesus, where he enables us to get to know our neighbour and to spend some time building a community.

This is why communion at Chaplaincy has always been so important to me. It has given me a chance to become part of a community with a broader group of people than I could hope to meet in a ‘regular’ parish.

The cultural relevance of communion
Another observation which strikes me as significant here is a specific one about culture. In the Western Church, we get rather hung up on some of the specifics of communion. Whilst I understand and respect the reasons for tradition and customs in the church, perhaps we sometimes get a bit distracted from the most important issues. Let me explain further...

Rural Lancashire, despite the weather, has some striking similarities to the land Jesus occupied 2000 years ago:

We have a very large number of sheep and livestock dotted around our hillsides, and we have a cultural memory that extends back before the invention of quad bikes and tractors to shepherds and a more manual approach to agriculture.

Despite massive changes to the diet of the average Lancastrian, bread is still at the centre. Sandwiches for lunch, toast at breakfast, naan bread with your chicken tikka massala in the evening. Bread is still a staple of our diet as it was when Jesus ate and drank with friends and followers.

So why does any of that matter and what does it have to do with communion? Well it matters when it comes to working out the significance of the bible for us in 21st century Lancashire. The cultural references in the bible relate to a particular place and time, and by chance, they also relate to us today in a very direct way. We’re very fortunate in this respect.

Parables about shepherds and accounts of bread and wine speak directly to our cultural experience. This is great for us, but what about those places where sheep don’t live, where there’s no coastline and no fishermen, or where bread isn’t on the menu because rice is the staple food? How would we relate to the lessons and examples of the bible if we didn’t have some of the common items of culture that we take for granted?

It might seem trivial, but this issue cuts to the core of what we believe about communion.

‘the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, “this is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me”’

What Jesus did was to take the everyday items of bread and wine (by the way, it probably wasn’t a vintage bottle of French red! It was more likely a rough and ready home-brew). He took these mundane, everyday items and he blessed them. In the same way he would have done at every meal time. He also said that when we do the same thing, we celebrate his memorial, and those basic elements become transformed somehow, to be for us, his body and his blood.

Jesus took an everyday act with everyday items, and began the sacrament we now know as communion, and which we celebrate today.

When Jesus set this phenomenon in motion, do you think he was hung-up on the specific ingredients of that meal as the template for communion for the next 2000 years? Most parts of the church take very seriously the aim to remain faithful to the particulars of the communion elements – bread and wine – and this goes down to very fine detail about what can and cannot be done! But what meaning, for the communicant, does this carry where bread and wine are not everyday items?

What I’m not saying here is that tradition and doctrine are not important. Of course they are, and I’m quite a traditionalist in many ways. I’m simply saying that we ought to take opportunities like this to explore what communion means in our place and time, and also in other places.

I’d like to teach you a song to which I was introduced a few months ago, and it says much of what I want to say in song. It talks of Jesus as the rice of life, and it comes from Malaysia, where rice is the staple food, and to think of Jesus as rice rather than bread is meaningful.

Teach song - The rice of life

In conclusion, I want to take us back to our gospel reading: ‘Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the Kingdom of God’. The example Jesus sets for us time and again in the New Testament is that a very real aspect of communion is to be found in people’s kitchens and round their dining tables, with meals, drinks and conversations. This doesn’t undermine the importance of Mass, or Communion, or the Lord’s Supper – however we know it – it simply challenges us to broaden or understanding about what Jesus was getting at when he broke bread and drank wine.

Maybe we need to readdress our approach to food and community on an everyday basis. Maybe we should consider saying grace before our meals if we don’t already. Maybe we should look at Jesus’ example a little more closely as we decide how best to perform our mission as a church.

It’s no coincidence that the fastest growing areas of the church in this country take food an hospitality to heart - I’m thinking of the Alpha model of meals and discussion.

We need to remember that Jesus used his ministry on earth to relate to people and to build communion and community. This is the example that should be at the heart of our lives as individuals and as the church.

It's not Dibley! (warning, this post contains a naughty word!)

Thanks to the wonderful Sky+ box in the Lanky household, we watched 'Rev.' last night due to postgrad group commitments on Monday. Having read a lot about the series already, I had a good feel for what it would be like before I watched it.
It's not Dibley, there's no laugh track (hurrah), and the humour is far from slapstick. Despite a couple of outbursts, the language is not nearly as fruity as 'the thick of it', but it's definitely not Dibley! I especially liked the bit where the vicar removed his collar as he told a bunch of abusive builders to 'fuck off!'.
I heard an interview with a cast member from 'The Wire' the other day, and she said that until well into the first season of the show, many of the actors thought it was fairly poor. It was only when the characters had developed and the rhythm of the dialogue had settled that they started to get into it and see its potential.
I'm not saying that I think Rev. is poor, but I am saying that this was a gentle start for what I expect will be a very good series. It has caricatures, but they aren't like the ones in Dibley. They are keenly observed, and therefore very amusing; especially for those of us who are part of similar church communities.
All in all, a solid start. I've already set the Sky box to record the entire series.
Other bloggers have watched too:

Church Times blog
Mark Vernon's blog
Bishop David Chillingworth's blog
David Keen's post has lots of other links too.

29 June 2010

Thunder and lightning

Last night we were treated to a rare (for Lancater) display of nature's power in the form of a spectaular thunderstorm. LittleLanky slept right through the excitement, but MrsLanky and I were woken by the show. 
I know some people find it scary, and I can understand why, but I just find it exciting. It's like taking part in an extreme sport without leaving the comfort of your own bed. A little bit of risk, but zero effort!
Needless to say, the rain that accompanied the thunder and lightning means that the water butt is now full, and I certainly don't need to water any plants today. Maybe United Utilities can postpone the hosepipe ban for a little longer.

28 June 2010

Here comes the rain

I'm not often pleased to see the rain, but today is an exception. The rain has arrived (with its customary odd smell), and I'm happy. The strawberries in the garden would be delighted if they were capable of emotion. I can feel the water butt filling as I type... It's still warm though!

79 days

New BBC 2 comedy: Rev

Tonight sees the first episode of a new BBC comedy starring Tom Hollander as a new vicar in an urban setting. From what I've read, I'm expecting something more like 'The Thick of it' than 'The Vicar of Dibley'. Anyway, tune in tonight: BBC2, 22:00.

Read more about it at the Church Times website...

25 June 2010

The many joys of a British summer

England are through the group stages of the world cup and set to take on the old enemy this weekend. Shock exits for Italy and France have shaken the tournament up a bit after its slow start! Live streaming footage available from ITV and the good old Beeb mean that those with a desktop PC at work (and no bandwidth or IP restrictions) are able to watch and work (I learnt I could actually multitask during England's last game).

Wimbledon is off to a flyer! Warm and dry weather mean no lost time so far, and the most epic of matches concluded yesterday to give us all a reminder that, for all the training and precision of the serve-volley game, it's still possible for a surprise to turn up occasionally.

The England cricket team have beaten the other old enemy, Australia, twice in three days! And it was in the 50 over format of the game; one which we are meant to be bad at (though opinion seems to be turning).

Add all this to the hospipe-ban-weather, and the rare site of yellow-brown lawns in Lancaster, and it makes me realise why I love the summer. The only way to top it off would be if a farner came to me and asked me to help with hay-making. That would bring back some very happy childhood memories of Salesis Farm.

Gareth Malone and my telly face, part 2

Regular readers will remember my glowing praise for the Gareth Malone series about the South Oxhey Choir. Well he's back on the telly again, and this time he's trying to bring together a young people's chorus for a new opera at Glyndebourne.
As a rule, MrsLanky and I are not opera fans; I'm certainly not sure what I think about modern opera. I can say, however, that we have been very impressed by this latest BBC series. The best moments of the show are when Malone works one to one with someone who is struggling, or who thinks they can't sing. He shows how, in many cases, the issue is not ability but confidence. And Malone has the disarming ability to give people confidence in their ability to sing.
The particularly interesting aspect of this series is the fact that Malone has been asked to work with a piece that is still a work in progress. It hasn't been completed by the time he needs to start teaching it! 
I don't know if it makes me a bad person, but it's affirming to see such a capable person working at the edge of his ability. It gives me confidence from watching him; especially seeing him receive coaching on conducting! His balance of humility and confidence is an inspiration. The telly face was definitely in evidence last night.
Anyway, iPlayer has the first 2 episodes, and you can catch it on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursdays.
82 days

24 June 2010

A hosepipe ban, in Lancashire?

I thought I was dreaming when I heard John Humphrys quizzing a representative from United Utilities about a possible hosepipe ban in the Northwest of England. Normally the Southeast are the first to suffer. The last time I remember a hosepipe ban in this area, I think I was more concerned about whether I would still be allowed to use a water pistol or not! OK, it may not of been that long ago, but I am struggling to remember it.
I know I mentioned the other day about the good weather in Lancaster, and I noticed the low water level in Thirlmere when we passed it a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't think we were that dry.
Anyway, it seems we had some drizzle during the night. Maybe that will hold off the ban for a little while longer.

21 June 2010

First of the lasts

This weekend saw the first of many things we will do for the last time in Lancaster over the coming weeks. At the end of the summer term, the 'Postgrad Group', to which the Lankies belong, are 'volunteered' for the job of providing a barbecue lunch after the Sunday morning service at the Chaplaincy Centre. On one notable and now legendary occasion, I recall the Lancaster weather providing some challenging conditions. Mr H and I were chief barbecue operatives, and we ended up sheltering under umbrellas whilst the rainwater rose around our ankles. We ended up barbecueing in about 6 inches of standing water, such was the ferocity of the rain storm.
Thankfully, the last Chaplaincy barbecue for which we are likely to be responsible was accomanied by glorious weather. The sun shone all day, as it is set to do for much of this week.
Lancaster is noted for it's challenging weather patterns, but our final year here has been great (so far). A proper winter with snow that stuck (the first in 13 years living in Lancaster), and a dry and warm summer which will hopefully continue a little longer!
This weekend also saw our last term-time 'Reflect' service. The undergraduate students will all be departing next weekend, and by the time 7pm on Sunday comes around, they will all be gone. Reflect does continue through the vacation, but with more modest numbers. This means the music has to change slightly - we'll lose a couple of accomplished part-singers, so we'll go for more simple songs and chants. This changes the essential character of the services until the undergrads return in October. 
After the service last night, I had a look back through the register of services. It seems we started Reflect in October 2006 - wow! It's amazing how time flies, and how services like this evolve. We've settled into a pattern of fairly traditional liturgies. We still have a mix of music from the Iona Community, Taize and a few good-old hymns, but we seem to have drifted into an amount of liturgical consistency which I had never envisaged at the beginning. 
Anyway, we're now on the home straight with Reflect. Fortunately, volunteers have come forward to take on the admin side of the service, so it will keep going after we've gone to Cambridge. This makes me very happy!
86 days to go

16 June 2010

Why are finance forms always the same?

My current job is in a context where finance forms abound. I'm well used to the various formats and the different ways of thinking about money, and I'm accustomed to the tendency to use shorthand phrases and acronyms which mean nothing to most of the population. It shouldn't surprise me, therefore, that I have a number of questions to ask the DDO about how one is meant to fill in the 'family budget for ordinands' form which is due this Friday. Having not been an ordinand before, this is all new to me! I'm also not familiar with the various benefits and tax credits for which we may be eligible. One of the problems is that if I apply for any benefits or credits now, the assessment would be based on my current salary, and not my impending student status. If I don't get actual figures based on an actual application, I can't really put anything on the form.
My job for this evening is to do a bit more internet research. After that, if I still have questions, I'll give the DDO a call. I'm sure this could be simpler!
91 days

15 June 2010

The power of positive reinforcement

I've never been a follower of organised boycotts such as the Nestle one. I understand the key issues, but you need to take a lot of 'facts' on trust from a partisan when you support such a campaign. I have no idea whether Nestle are good are bad - how would I know that what I've been told about them is correct and free of bias?
I also have a more fundamental discomfort about organised boycotts like this. I'd much rather take action based on my own rationale rather than received wisdom.
Finally, there's a significant issue here about how we are seeking to modify the behaviour of these corporations (that is what we're trying to do isn't it?). We're told by child psychologists that we should ignore any undesired behavioural traits in our children, and reward them when we see preferred behaviour (note my hedging away from good and bad - once a philosopher...). Maybe this is an approach we should take with corporations, businesses and organisations. Perhaps, as Phil Cooke suggests, we should reward a retailer because they have exceeded our expectations.
I know from my experience in retail that you rarely get good customer feedback. When you do, it lights up your face, and you're motivated for another week in one of the most poorly paid jobs around. On the other hand, people are very happy to tell you when their expectations have not been met; sometimes in brutal terms. Why, as a society, is it easier to chide than to praise? Is there something about the human mind that makes us do this, or have we been 'trained' into this mode of behaviour? Either way, perhaps we should be the start of a revolution which, rather than boycotting on the basis of presumed wrongdoing, takes a positive experience as the motivation for affirmation - even on a corporate level. Carrots rather than sticks!

14 June 2010

Pining for my piano

Since I left home at the age of 19, I have been without my piano. It was a gift to me from my Grandparents, and I learnt to play on it. Though I must admit, I didn't learn very well! I got to Grade 2 and decided that all those exams and hours of practice (not that I ever did an hour of practice) were too much effort.
Since going to university, my music-making has gone in a more choral route (despite the purchase of a lovely electro-acoustic guitar). The voice is the only truly portable instrument, and you don't struggle to fit it in a university bedroom! Through singing, and teaching songs to others, my music reading has got a lot better. I used to be ok on the pitch of notes, but I was easily confused by rhythms. This is still true to an extent, but I find that a bit of concentration soon sorts it out.
When we move to Cambridge in September, we will have enough space to accommodate the piano which now sits in my parents' dining room. I can't wait to have it! It's not that I will play it every day, but I do think that I will enjoy being able to try a bit of sightreading, and bashing out the accompaniments to Taize chants or Iona songs. The weakness of the voice is that harmony cannot easily be achieved when you're on your own (with a few exceptions). This is where the piano comes in! you can hear how the different parts relate to each other, and get prepared for any accidentals or clashes before they happen.
So there you go. I'm pining for my piano, but this will soon come to an end in September. I bet it needs tuning.

11 June 2010

Keep your eyes on Kerrigan

Although he's already 21 (geriatric by England team standards), Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan is still a player to watch in my opinion (I've mentioned him before). Monty has fallen by the wayside and Swann, though brilliant, will not last forever. So who is in the wings to carry on the rejuvenated spin attack for England?
Kerrigan's recent performances for Lancashire make me think that he may end up wearing an England shirt (at least a Lions variant) before too long. From what I have read, it seems that he has the special skill of being able to turn a game with a short passage of inspired bowling. I suppose that if he wants to compete for an England cap, he will need to work hard on his batting and fielding. By ousting Monty as England's number 1 spin option, Swann has shown that spin alone is no longer sufficient! I'm sure Peter Moores will be working on this with Kerrigan already.

10 June 2010

The day Stephen Hawking helped my prayer life

As I've blogged already this week, I'm participating in a week of accompanied prayer. As such, my attention has been slanted (to a greater extent than usual) towards my prayer life. 
Yesterday, I followed a link from a blog, and I eventually arrived at an article about an interview given to ABC in the USA about Professor Stephen Hawking's latest TV series over the pond. I have a lot of time for Hawking. His work in explaining the more complex ideas in theoretical physics to a lay audience has been inspirational.
The paragraph in the article that caught my attention was one that resonated with something that has come up in the sessions with my prayer guide. From one of Hawking's answers about religion:
"What could define God [is thinking of God] as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of that God," Hawking told Sawyer. "They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible."
I have a tendency to intellectualise God and faith (probably a personality-type issue). This can be very necessary, but it can sometimes reduce God to something like Hawking's caricature in the paragraph above; 'the embodiment of the laws of nature' and nothing more. I think when I intellectualise and theorise God, it becomes tempting to think of God only as a way of describing and understanding the physical reality of the world, and not as the personal God that Hawking criticises as a human-made artefact. This tendency reminds me of the 'category mistake' referred to by Rowan Williams in reference to creationism. We try to fit God into an inappropriate and inadequate system of understanding - scientific 'proof' - and we end up with an incomplete conception of the thing we were trying to understand.
I expect that one of the reasons I have this tendency is my degree in philosophy and my subsequent interest in the ongoing tussle between Dawkins and the religious world. I think I often confine my contemplation of God to philosophical thoughts about his existence, and the interaction of religious ideas with scientific ones, and I stop short of trying to know God better.
So Stephen Hawking has inadvertently encouraged me to address this matter in my private prayer time. I've resolved to try further to understand God in the personal sense that Hawking rejects. 
97 days (meant to do this each day - will try harder)

8 June 2010

Why the C of E needs to pull its socks up

I'm sure there are many reasons why the C of E needs to pull its socks up, but today's gripe is about keeping up with contemporary culture. Fired from my previous post which mentions daily prayer, I thought I would do some investigation into daily prayer apps for the iPhone (follow the link to see the latest incarnation), and for that matter, the iPad. I double checked that the C of E (or anyone else) had published a Daily Prayer app, and I couldn't find one. I did, however, find that we're behind the times! There are loads of daily prayer apps, some more 'official' than others, but here are my top 3 finds following a 2 minute search:
There must be someone out there with the skills and inclination to develop a C of E Daily Prayer app. Surely! I would be prepared to pay the going rate for such an app, and I'm sure many others would too, so if you're out there, get cracking an I'll be your first customer.

Making time

I'm participating in a 'week of accompanied prayer' this week at the Chaplaincy Centre. So far so good, in that I have been allocated a very good guide for the week who has already been challenging and probing. The week aims to provide a retreat in daily life, so I'm still at work and still at home, but each day I meet with my guide for 1/2 an hour. Alongside this there are workshop sessions to which all the participants are invited. The crucial thing, though, is that you commit to at least half an hour of personal prayer time in the day.
The thing that I've been surprised about already is that I do have the time to fit prayer into my daily routine. My anxiety at the beginning of the programme was that I wouldn't be able to commit enough time to do it justice.
I've decided that now is the time to kick start my routine again (it has lapsed since the arrival of LittleLanky), and for the first time in ages I said morning prayer today. To save me juggling prayer books and bibles, I used my iPhone to bring up the appropriate order on the C of E website. How long until someone develops a Daily Prayer app??? It can't be that difficult!
Anyway, my main point is that I do seem to have enough time to slot in prayer to a very busy day. I just need to remind myself of this each day, and fight the urge to collapse in front of the TV.

7 June 2010

Preach, preaches, preaching, praught?

On Sunday, I was aked to preach at the united service at the Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre. The service took the form of a Roman Catholic Mass, but was attended by members from all denomintions represented in the Centre. We followed the RC lectionary, and as such, we celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi. So an Anglican preached at an ecumenical Mass on the subject of the eucharist.
Hmmm. No difficulties there then!
I'll post the sermon when I've located a the final copy - I'm told it wasn't terrible - but the point I wanted to make in this post is one about comfort zones. Sunday's sermon was only my second ever attempt at preaching and, unsurprisingly, I still felt like I was well outside my confort zone.
The thing that highlighted this feeling for me was my inclusion of music in the sermon. I'm well accustomed to teaching and leading unaccompanied singing with congregations, and I noticed that the moment I started to teach the song was the moment I started to relax a little. Until this point, I felt locked to the script and quite nervous. As soon as the music started, I felt more able to go off-piste and make a few impromptu observations and witticisms.
It occurred to me that this is all about what I am used to, and what I am comfortable with. I lead people in song on a weekly basis, but I've only ever preached* twice. I'm hoping this is something that will change as I have more opportunities to preach, and according to what I know about Westcott House, I will have many such opportunities during my training.

* Does anyone else think that the past tense of 'preach' should be 'praught'? As in 'teach' and taught'. 

Surprising bird

Whilst walking away from the Chaplaincy Centre yesterday after the 'Reflect' service, I was surprised to see a lone oystercatcher wandering around the lawns. I know they aren't a particularly rare bird in the UK, but I don't think I've ever seen one on the university campus before. There definitely aren't many oysters to be caught here.

4 June 2010

Back down to earth

It might sound strange, but I always anxious when I'm on holiday about what might happen in the world while I'm away. The whole point of a holiday is to get away from it all, and I subscribe to that view. No iPhones, no newspapers. You get the picture. This is fine in principle, but I find that I retain an amount of anxiety about what might be happening in the real world while I'm offline and out of the UK.
We returned from a wonderful week in Cyprus to the devastating news from West Cumbria, and it was obviously a massive shock. During our years in Lancaster, visits to Cumbria have been a common affair, and we feel that we identify strongly with the place and the people. Consequently, this all feels very close to home.
Logically, one can look at the statistics about gun ownership and the instances of multiple murder across the world, and this offers some comfort. However, the knowledge that such a tragedy has just happened on your patch has the ability to undermine the common sense approach of the well meaning statisticians and media commentators. I don't feel at any greater risk as a result of the shootings, but I do feel uneasy; and no amount of logic will remove this.
Part of my unease is because I know that the people of West Cumbria will continue to be the subject of media intrusion and unhelpful speculation. We will also see a batch of TV programmes on the subject, along with political debate and news coverage.
What the people of West Cumbria need most at this point is time to come to terms with what has happened, to grieve for the dead, and to begin to look forward again. For the rest of us, too, the world has changed and we'll need time to adjust.