THE LAST WORD...some inspirational words from famous people down the ages.

MOTHER TERESA (1910-97): An Albanian-Indian nun and missionary posthumously honoured in the Roman Catholic Church as St Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.

"At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.'"

"Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day. He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to adoration."

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: South African Anglican cleric, theologian and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

"What matters is not how good we are but how good God is. Not how much we love Him but how much He loves us. And God loves us whoever we are, whatever we've done or failed to do, what we believe or can't."

"God places us in the world as his fellow workers - agents of transfiguration. We work with God so that injustice is transfigured into justice, so there will be more compassion and caring, that there will be more laughter and joy, and there will be more togetherness in God's world."

"We learn from history that we don't learn from history."

"Most churches, when they have images of the good shepherd, they show Jesus carrying a nice fluffy lamb. Now fluffy little lambs don't stray from their mommies. The sheep that will stray is the most obstreperous, troublesome one."

ANONYMOUS

"Let's approach Christmas with an expectant hush rather than a great rush."

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870): Writer and social critic.

"For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself."

JOHN SENTAMU: Retired Archbishop of York.

"I believe the coming of Jesus Christ as a poor and defenceless baby remains our hope for the world. It's a story that can never be drowned out. It's the greatest news there is."

ROWAN WILLIAMS: Retired Archbishop of Canterbury.

"Truth makes love possible; love makes truth bearable."

CANON RICHARD FISHER: Chief executive of the Bible Reading Fellowship.

"During the early part of lockdown, someone wrote on Facebook that when this was all over, we'd realise three things: how much we have, how little we need and how important relationships are. I couldn't agree more!"

WILLIAM TEMPLE (1881-1944): Former Bishop of Manchester, Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members."

GEOFFREY FISHER (1887-1972): Former Archbishop of Canterbury

"I hope that by going to visit the Pope I have enabled everybody to see that the words Catholic and Protestant are completely out of date. They are almost always used now for propaganda purposes. That is why so much trouble is caused by them."

STEPHEN COTTRELL: Archbishop of York.

"When you open the Bible, you are not being invited just to read a book but meet a person. The Bible introduces us to Jesus; it then becomes the handbook of our Christian faith, guiding us through life until that great day when we will see God face to face."

"The diocese is us, not someone else, not head office, wherever that is, not bishop or archdeacon, not even incumbent. But us. And we have a commitment to each other and to every community, not just our own."

GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633): Priest, poet, MP.

"Teach me my God and King, In all things thee to see,

And what I do in anything

To do it as for Thee."

"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven."

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER (1906-45): Pastor and martyr.

"Self-denial means knowing only Christ, and no longer oneself. Self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him."

"Advent creates people, new people."

MARY SUMNER  (1828-1921): Founder of the Mothers' Union.</span>

"Together, by the Grace of God, we can calm each other when we are afraid; strengthen each other when we are weak; and work together to raise our children to the glory of God. Unity is strength."

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827): Poet, painter and printmaker.

"To see a would in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour."

From Auguries of Innocence

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."

HENRY HART MILMAN (1791-1868): Historian, priest and writer.

For Palm Sunday: "Ride on, ride on in majesty

                                In lowly pomp ride on to die;

                                O Christ, thy triumphs now begin

                                O'er captive death and conquered sin."

CHARLES WESLEY (1707-88): Evangelist, hymn writer and leader of the Methodist Movement.

For Easter Day: "Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

                            "Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

                            "Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

                             "Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!"

BASIL HULME (1923-99): Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

"The great gift of Easter is hope."

MARTIN LUTHER KING Jnr (1929-68): Baptist minister and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement.

"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime."

"We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity."

JOHN HENRY NEWMAN (1801-90)Theologian, scholar, priest.

“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the tallest steeple, but God declared: ‘Go down again - I dwell among the people.’”

JOHN STOTT (1921-2011): Theologian, scholar, priest.

"It's a wonderful privilege to be a missionary or a pastor, if God calls us to it. But it is equally wonderful to be a Christian lawyer, industrialist, politician, manager, social worker, television scriptwriter, journalist or homemaker, if God calls us to it."

FRANK SKINNER (b1957): Comedian, TV presenter and author of A Comedian's Prayer Book.

"You may recall I celebrated the beauties of the 'our' in Our Father. I felt the topic brought the best in me. Cometh the 'our', cometh the man."

KARL BARTH (1886-1968): 

"Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is himself the way."

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Sailor, Anglican priest and hymn writer.

"With Christ in the vessel I smile at the storm."

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1850-1894): Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."

POPE FRANCIS (b1936): Leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

"The promise was that when the glass was half full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger - nothing ever comes out for the poor."

"When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptised by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion: he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins."

PLATO: Athenian philosopher in Ancient Greece)

"The measure of a man is what he does with power."

OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) Irish poet and playwright.

"To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less."

MARK TWAIN (1835-1910) American writer.

"Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand."

"Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

BARBARA PYM (1913-80) English novelist.

"I love Evensong. There's something sad and essentially English about it."

St. AUGUSTINE (345-430): Theologian, philosopher and bishop.

"Christmas is fast approaching. And now that Christ has aroused our seasonal expectations, he'll soon fulfil them all."

BEAR GRYLLS (born 1974): British adventurer, writer and television presenter.

"I always wanted to be Robin Hood or John the Baptist when I was growing up."

PLATO (428-348BC): Greek philosopher, founder of the first institution of higher education in the Western world.

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

SHEILA WALSH (born 1956): Song writer, evangelist and author.

"Whether Jesus calms the storm or calms us in the storm, His love is the same, and His grace is enough."

THOMAS HUGHES QC (1822-96): English lawyer, politician and author.

"Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God's best gifts."

W.H.AUDEN (1907-73): British-American poet and writer.

"Christ did not enchant men; He demanded that they believe in Him, except on one occasion, the Transfiguration. For a brief while, Peter, James and John were permitted to see Him in his glory. For that brief while they had no need for faith. The vision vanished, and the memory did not prevent them from all forsaking Him when He was arrested, or Peter from denying that he had ever known Him."

C.S.LEWIS (1898-1963): British author and theologian.

"It is not the temptations that meet us on the streets that determine our conduct; it is the heart of the man who faces them. Two men may face the same conditions; one falls, the other stands. The difference is not in the temptation but in the heart of the man."

THOMAS MERTON (1915-68): Trappist monk, theologian, writer, mystic.

"We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-65): 16th President of the United States.

"All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

EMMA INESON (b 1969): Anglican bishop and academic.

"If we are to see transformation in the future, the time to start the process is now."

GULI FRANCIS-DEHQANI (b. 1966): Anglican bishop and former Iranian asylum seeker.

On the debate regarding sending refugees to Rwanda, she said: "This policy treats the most vulnerable in our midst in a cruel and inhumane way."

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430): Theologian and philosopher from the Berber region of North Africa.

"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul. God loves each os us as if there were only one of us."