Always find Mothering Sunday strange. In the parish it was an immense event – heaving with children and flowers. I would never just say ‘folk religion’ – but most of the classic statements about its meaning never seem to get anywhere near it.
Today was different – because the story of Jade Goody’s life and death gave it shape and purpose. To be personal about it, she represents for me all the awkward people who have roared and shouted at me, all the difficult and non-compliant people .. in whom strangely and unaccountably I have seen the grace of God at work. I wonder if what she became was as surprising to her as it was to us.
What is fascinating is the way in which her passions – misdirected towards Shilpa Shetty in the Big Brother House – were directed towards her husband and her children. And somehow she came to terms with the idea that what the church was offering her could in shape and express what was most precious to her.
May she rest in peace.