A visit to India is never particularly easy. It’s heat, noise, crowds and the time difference. Then there is the food that you are apprehensive about eating in case you get Delhi belly. And then there are the cross cultural differences
Last week was my third trip to the Diocese of Calcutta – my fourth to India. I have to confess that, before we went, I was beginning to wonder how much more life there was in our Companionship Relationship. But I have come back feeling that we have now moved it to a new level. Five clergy, a Lay Reader and Alison came with me. They all worked very hard at networking and building relationships. The fact that it was my third visit meant that I didn’t start from baseline.
This was the Sermon which I preached at the Service which marked the close of their Bicentennial Year. It was an extraordinary honour in itself to be asked to do this. The President of India came for a cultural programme which followed the service.
You’ll find in the Sermon some of the themes which developed as the week progressed – the state of the church today; the colonial and missionary past and its links to our diocese; the status and safety of women in India today; the place of the Christian community in a society which seems to be at risk of losing the aspiration to diversity in favour of Hindu nationalism.
I spent the week struggling with very flakey wifi – so I’ll be posting more material about the week as time allows over the next week.