Carry on camel

10 January 2014

THE new Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd David Walker, borrowed one of the camels from the three Wise Men, and rode - "at some speed", I'm told - to answer questions from members of the local community. The Wise Men on their camels, echoing the journey of the magi who followed the star 2000 years ago,were seeking for answers to questions from people who have migrated to the neighbourhood.

Starting and ending at the proposed site of a new development by the Trafford Housing Trust, they paused at primary schools on the way before the Bishop, in bare feet and sandals, mounted a camel as a Wise Man at St John's, and rode to St Bride's, where he was asked questions by women from the multi-ethnic community.

"What guides you?" was the first question. "I try to follow Jesus Christ by the example set by St Francis of Assisi," the Bishop replied. And, when asked what gifts he brought, he said: "The gift of fun. Whatever we do we should try to have fun. I also bring knowledge of issues around housing and regeneration. I bring a love of God which I hope might be visible to others."

The event was arranged by the Priest-in-Charge of St John's, the Revd John Hughes, and Elaine Eland, from the St John's Centre, and brought a number of people from different communities on to the streets to take photographs of the camels and join the excitement. It finished with a nativity play performed by teenagers from St Bride's.

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