Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bishop hands out the gift of time to commuters

We had a wonderful confirmation service this morning. Our Bishop, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, was fresh from media "exposure" for going up to commuters at Reading railway station asking them to accept the gift of time and handing them an egg-timer. It received some excellent media coverage, not least because Bishop Cottrell is a deeply sincere man. The Church Times reported:

WORLDWIDE interest was sparked this week by the Bishop of Reading, who handed out egg-timers to commuters in an attempt to help them to slow down. The Bishop, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, was interviewed on breakfast radio-shows in Australia after he appealed to commuters on Reading station to step back from their pressured lives, if only for the time it took to boil an egg. “I asked them if they would be happy to receive a gift, a gift of time,” he said on Tuesday. “I said it takes three minutes to boil an egg. You could spend those three minutes in silence.”

The Bishop's sermon was enrapturing. One quote he mentioned stuck in my mind. It's from Joseph Campbell:

"The poor chap who gets himself in a job and goes down that groove all his life ... A friend gave me a list of things that let you know when you are old. Some of them are silly, others are serious ... The really serious one is 'when you've gotten to the top of the ladder and you find it's against the wrong wall.' And that's where so many people are. It's dreadful." -- A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living, selected and edited by Dianne K. Osbon (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 68.


  1. Yes, it does say "Anglican" at the top of my home page. Freaky or what?!

  2. I wonder how many people told the Bishop to go and get a proper job.

  3. The links tell you how he got on - one fellow rushed past and hurriedly told him "I haven't got time for you"