A local National School visited St Peter’s yesterday. They asked intelligent questions about the church and items in it. An observant young man wondered why there was a decorative Star of David on some of the chairs. ‘Because Jesus was a Jew’ was my immediate answer, followed by consideration of all the symbolism in church and liturgy that comes from the Jerusalem Temple.
Before long, a black boy asked: ‘are you English?’
‘Yes,’ said I, ‘why do you ask?’
‘Your accent,’ he replied.
What would have happened had I asked him if he were African because of his pigmentation?
The straightforwardness of young people has much to commend it. For myself, increasing the size of the oral aperture in readiness for the articulation of phonation is often merely an opportunity to change feet, and then to wonder to whom the letter of complaint will be sent.
Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding: whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee.