THE other day I was standing in the middle of the road in Skipton High Street, talking to the fabulous folk who run the market when I realised I was right next to the warning sign painted on the road: AHEAD ONLY. I looked up and saw the church and chuckled to myself.

We all have to keep moving forward, negotiating what’s ahead of us and sometimes we’re not sure what will happen and often we feel safer in a past as it was some time ago. Whilst we need to take the wisdom of the past with us, and also anticipate potential pitfalls ahead, we do so in order to navigate and participate in a hopeful and joyful future, not be held hostage to a past or be fearful of what’s to come.

There might be significant curtailments to our movements and permissions to meet in the days to come, and we might have to deal with significant hardship and in some cases suffering, but nothing can lock down our creativity and ingenuity; our dignity and identity, our compassion and love. We are always, should we chose, moving ahead toward the fulfilment of those God-given characteristics - within ourselves and one another - because we are part of a deeper and eternal reality. It will be those aforementioned traits that build us up and allow us to uphold one another, travelling onwards with respect and decency.

James Theodosius


Holy Trinity, Skipton, and St Augustine’s, Draughton