The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivers his annual New Year message for the final time before stepping down from the role after 10 years in office.
Browse content similar to 01/01/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Whenever I make a broadcast like this one,
I'm acutely aware of the gap between what I'm seeing here
and what you're looking at at home.
You see me now sitting quietly in my study.
What I'm seeing is a small crowd
of wonderfully expert and efficient technicians doing the filming,
meticulously checking the pictures and the sound.
What we see happening
is only a small part of what's going on in order to make it happen.
And this last year,
we had a chance to notice this for once in a very vivid way.
The extraordinary events of the Olympics and Paralympics last summer
provided an unforgettable spectacle.
But everyone who visited the Olympic site or watched the broadcasts
would have been made aware of the army of volunteers
who cheerfully gave up their free time
and worked away without complaint all hours of the day and night
to make these great events happen.
They were the key people
who translated the Olympic vision into reality for the rest of us.
It ought to make us think a bit harder
about all the other folk who quietly, often invisibly,
turn vision into reality and just make things happen,
Stephen, was it?
Here at the Robes Project, over 20 local churches are combining
to offer food and shelter to homeless people in London.
It's the face-to-face contact, actually feeling
that there is something that you are able to give of yourself
rather than just from your wallet.
They're just like you and me.
I mean, having been made redundant,
I could have been made homeless myself, so...
Religion here isn't a social problem or an old-fashioned embarrassment,
it's a wellspring of energy and a source of life-giving vision
for how people should be regarded and treated.
So let's recognise this steady current of generosity
that underlies so much of our life together in this country
and indeed worldwide.
It's all based on one vision, to make our society, our whole world,
work for everyone,
not just the comfortable and well off.
And it's a vision that sometimes seems to need
Olympic levels of patient hard work and dedication.
Are we going to win this one?
If you have the good fortune
to live in a community where things seem to be working well,
the chances are that if you slip backstage,
you'll find an army of cheerful people making the wheels go round.
And don't forget just what a huge percentage of them
come from the churches and other faith groups.
We serve the young people in this community
because we want to see Jesus's name lifted high.
It's just an opportunity for them to begin to explore
what faith means in terms of living it out in our real world.
So it's a kind of counterweight to some of the peer pressures
-that they'll be experiencing.
And I would say that a lot of young people would bring their friends here
because of the positive influence that they've had here.
"How very good that people like that are there for us," we can say.
But as soon as we've said that,
we should be prompted to ask the tougher question -
"to join this silent conspiracy of generous dedication?"
There will be those who have time and skill and strength to offer.
There will be those who have less of these,
but can support in prayer and goodwill.
And as we think about this silent groundswell,
perhaps our minds can begin to open up to the deepest secret of all.
The trust that the entire universe is held together
by the quiet, unfailing generosity of God.
What we see and grasp isn't the whole story.
But just occasionally, we can get a glimpse.
I hope there will be lots of joyful glimpses like that for you
in the year ahead.
Every blessing and happiness for the coming year.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd