The Bishop of London's sermon for Lady Margaret Thatcher's Funeral Today (full text)

In the gospel passage read by the Prime Minister, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. “I am” is the voice of the divine being. Jesus does not bring information or advice but embodies the reality of divine love. God so loved the world that he was generous: he did not intervene from the outside but gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ, and became one of us.

What, in the end, makes our lives seem valuable after the storm and stress has passed and there is a great calm? The questions most frequently asked at such a time concern us all. How loving have I been? how faithful in personal relationships? Have I found joy within myself, or am I still looking for it in externals outside myself?

Margaret Thatcher had a sense of this, which she expressed in her address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland: “I leave you with the earnest hope that may we all come nearer to that other country whose ”˜ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace’.”

I love the child’s letter and her response–read it all (video or audio is worth the time). [/i]

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

8 comments on “The Bishop of London's sermon for Lady Margaret Thatcher's Funeral Today (full text)

  1. Terry Tee says:

    I watched it live on television. The sermon was superb both in content and delivery. The letter was a master-stroke. When the camera panned to the congregation most of them were listening most of the time, which itself speaks volumes.

  2. Cranmerian says:

    I love the fact that Lady Thatcher’s service included a catafalque, bier lights, and black vestments. A proper Burial Office according to historic custom.

    The Lord Bishop of London is a great voice for the catholic faith within the CofE.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    I have just been reading about the protestors, their jeers and placards. I tell myself: ‘Margaret Thatcher lived her life a firm believer in democracy, with its precious belief in freedom of speech. She would have said that we have to put up with this sort of thing if we want a free country.’ And somehow the protestors do not rankle any more.

    I also take the liberty of appending here the unpublished letter I wrote to the Daily Telegraph:
    Sir,
    Fear and hatred of women is well known in history. One of commonest misogynistic stereotypes is that of the witch. How surprising, then, to find that, in the name of disrespect for Margaret Thatcher, the image of the witch is now enthusiastically promoted. More surprising still is that most of its promoters seem to be those who would have us believe that they are opposed to misogyny and every type of discrimination.

    Yours sincerely

  4. Kendall Harmon says:

    This is the second major event in the UK in the last four months where TS Eliot was used to awaken the national consciousness and imagination that I remember, the last being Rowan Williams’ final Christmas sermon.

    Interesting.

  5. Saltmarsh Gal says:

    What a fine, fine sermon. Well done, Bishop. Too bad Luis Leon was not similarly minded when the Obamas made a visit to Church on Easter – certainly THE paramount occasion for proclaiming hope.

  6. Militaris Artifex says:

    There is an interesting commentary on Mrs. Thatcher in [i]The Telegaph[/i] today by Catholic columnist Damian Thompson:

    [i]Pax et bonum[/i]
    Keith Töpfer

  7. MichaelA says:

    It was a good sermon. The Bishop of London has been a light to his city and his church for almost two decades now. Given the recent trends in episcopal appointments in CofE, I fear that his wisdom and firmness will be missed when he retires.

    Also, thanks Keith for that link to Damien Thompson’s article – very good.

  8. Militaris Artifex says:

    MichaelA,
    You are most welcome.

    [i]Pax et bonum[/i],
    Keith Töpfer