Church of England Diocese of Guildford Dunsfold


5 Oct 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Over the last few weeks, I have been reminded of the importance of belonging. There is something good and life giving about being together.

It was as I was travelling in the car to Loughborough last week, taking my son to uni, that we got talking about his school career. As we chatted it become clear that one of the things that had enabled him to thrive throughout his time at primary and secondary school was the fact that he felt he belonged to his school and class. Belonging is about being accepted, included, welcomed, unconditionally, no matter who you are and what you bring. It is about realising that you have a voice and that your contributions are sought after and listened to. When we feel that we belong, we feel safe in our own skin and are more likely to be able to fulfil our potential.

Belonging is a key element of the Christian faith. The apostle Peter writes, in one of my favourite passages of scripture, about those who follow Jesus, ‘you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light’ (1 Pet 2:9). We belong to God because God claims us as his own.

Let’s pray that those attending the numerous Christian basics courses being run around the Diocese in the aftermath of Archbishop Justin’s visit experience a real welcome and are increasingly drawn into an awareness that they can belong to God.

Archdeacon Martin