Out of the corner of my eye, as the train left Worthing station, I saw the slogan for England’s team in the South Africa rugby tour: Follow the rose.
The use of the rose as a national emblem is derived from our medieval history.
The aristocratic house of Lancaster, with its red rose, and that of York with the white rose, produced decades of instability in England as they vied with each other to secure the throne.
The outcome was the establishment of the Tudors, who combined red and white in their distinctive version of the English rose.
This fusion of hostilities into a common purpose set the scene for the beginnings of our modern era, not least in the formation of the English language for use in the theatre and churches.
So the rose is a sign of how we have resolved our former conflicts and released new energy in doing so.
And with its emblem of the rose, a modern, highly professionalised team game, such as rugby, also has something significant to teach us about our national life and the way we relate to each other.
First, it identifies the value of fitness, training and discipline.
These are necessary virtues in so many aspects of life, and we need to develop the culture of nurturing them.
Second, it promotes the importance of diversity.
The team depends on differences of skill for its achievements.
Third, it forges a common vision and purpose.
The vision of the game well played is an intrinsic element of what we look for in a good match on our screens.
The purpose of doing that to secure a victory is what gives us an investment in the match, and that leads to the fourth thing.
A really professional team recognises that it has a duty to its supporters and the community they represent.
These are important elements of life that contribute to the building of a good society.
They are also closely related to the qualities of Christian faith, which is why sport and Christianity are more obviously linked in the Bible than in the minds of many of us today.
Chichester Cathedral 'Hot Topic Talk': Antisemitism Beyond the Headlines
10.30am -12pm, Wednesday 18th July, 4 Canon Lane
Rabbi Dr Andrea Zanardo, Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, will give a personal view on the development of antisemitism and what can be done to challenge antisemitism in the world today. The session will be introduced and chaired by the Cathedral Chancellor, the Reverend Canon Dr Anthony Cane. Tickets £7.50, refreshments included. Advance booking essential Chichester Box Office, Novium Museum, Tower Street, Chichester 01243 816525
Link to website for bookings: https://chichesterboxoffice.ticketsolve.com/shows/873589677
Lewes Sings Gospel - Summer Concert
Come and hear Lewes Sings Gospel in its new home at TRINITY St John sub Castro (The TRINITY Centre). An LSG concert never fails to deliver high quality, high energy gospel music alongside a great atmosphere. A fantastic opportunity to hear the 2014 BBC Gospel Choir of the Year in concert. It takes place on July 21 starting at 7.30pm.
Doors open at 7pm and the concert will include a 15min interval with refreshments. For more information about Lewes Sings Gospel, this concert and how to join the choir next term please visit lewessingsgospel.co.uk. To request further information about the concert in advance of booking please use the contact information on the website
Free Training Resource for Parish Churches
HOPE has announced the launch of the Talking Jesus training course, following 18 months of filming across the UK.
Talking Jesus – The Course has taken 18 months and hundreds of hours in filming. The conversational presentation style, inspired by the documentary Coast, has taken HOPE to dozens of different locations to interview people about how they talk about Jesus. The Course includes six practical, video-based teaching sessions with inspirational testimonies.
Revd Rob Dillingham, Deputy Director of Apostolic Life in the Diocese said, "It will empower people to be able to talk naturally about their faith and this is why I want to give every parish a copy."
The Diocese of Chichester has ordered 500 copies of the course which will be distributed this month.