WHEN the Assistant Bishop in Llandaff, the Rt
Revd David Wilbourne, sent me an account of a schools' day in
Llandaff Cathedral, together with a couple of pictures, he did not
tell me what he and another priest were doing racing up and down
It is true that he encouraged some of the children there to run:
the fastest boy from the west door to the Majestas (the Jacob
Epstein sculpture), running as the shepherds ran to Christ at
Bethlehem; and the fastest girl to run from the Majestas to the
west door, as Mary Magdalene ran from the Easter garden to tell the
disciples she had seen her risen Lord. But the Bishop and his
colleague? Perhaps they were just pacing the course.
Over the past year, he tells me, the top class of nearly all the
22 church schools in the diocese have spent a morning in the
cathedral, bringing personal prayers, singing worship songs,
dressing as bishops, hunting for treasures and saints, and learning
about the cathedral's resurrection after being flattened in the
war. They have also climbed the tower, and rung the bells.
"There has been lots of laughter, lots of activity, and lots of
[metaphorical] pennies dropping, as the cathedral has made links
with their faith and lives." As for the running, they took their
cue from the letter to the Hebrews: "Since we are surrounded by so
great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with perseverance the race
that is set before us."
"There ought to be more running in church, not less," Bishop
Wilbourne says. "Why do we make everything so sedate, as if the
gospel had no urgency, no thrill about it?"