Afflicted with terminal illness, Bath Quaker Shelagh James has written a clear and trenchant letter about her faith to the local newspaper after it made reference to the old trope about the York Minster fire being an act of god.
The Bath Chronicle printed Shelagh’s letter in full. The text is below:
Dear Sir or Madam
As a regular Chronicle reader of many years I was appalled to read the old contoversy about the fire at York Minster was being revived in relation to recent storms.
I am suffering from a very serious illness and probably have very limited time. I was baptised in water from the Jordan. My spiritual journey has led me from the Anglican Church, the Church in Wales, very happy years in the Methodist Church as a young person and now as a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) for almost forty years. I have been sustained all my life by church music as the word of God comes in many ways.
In the last few months I have been sustained by prayers and blessings from an enormous range of Christians: Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Christian Scientists to name a few. Now I am enjoying the sustaining love (sought at every Meeting for Worship) of my own spiritual family where we listen in silence for the word of God.
The God who I follow as a’humble learner in the school of Christ is not worried by the theological differences or what churches do to sustain their buildings as long as they do not contradict their central beliefs of loving one another and doing no harm or little harm in the world.
I am also honoured to have the thoughts and prayers of Moslem, Ba’hai, Hindu, Jewish people, Buddhists and Hari Krishna Friends. Also a raft of Agnostic grandchildren; the support of all faiths and of none.
The love of God is wide and there for all.
Long active in Bath’s inter-faith community, Bath Quaker Shelagh James enjoys the loving support of friends and family of many faiths and of none.
You can find Shelagh’s letter in full, and other local news, in this week’s Bath Chronicle.