I’m often an embarrassment to my family whenever we’re out and about ... probably on other occasions too. You see, I’m happy to talk with anyone and I do. Communication, after all, is at the root of relationships.

I suppose I get it from my mother. She’s known to have missed buses, being heavily engaged in conversation with strangers while standing at a bus stop. She turned out to be a veritable trend setter in many ways: if anyone then asked her how she was, she’d take them at their word and tell them, despite my protestations, right down to her last ache and pain.

But nowadays you don’t even need to ask people how they are before they launch into a litany of how difficult, tough, awkward and painful things are, how they need help, what entitlements they feel denied, how they’re being cheated ... So I’m prompted to ask myself whether we are becoming too dependent on others as individual self-reliance seems to wane. Why does everybody moan and criticise so much these days?

We Christians come in for more than our fair share of misrepresentation, being the butt of others’ many moans and groans. Yet the news that Christ, the arch communicator, brought was only and all for the good. Perhaps we too should move onto the front foot, make and stand our ground against the received yet vincible ignorance of those around us.

As you look through this magazine, whether you are of the faith, could be of the faith or not of the faith at all, reflect on the wealth of communication in your hands, whether that be by word or image, from the icon on the front cover to such monumental architecture on the back cover, from the targets before our diocese to the overall witness we bring.

Why can’t others see what we bring? None so blind … Still, mustn’t grumble.

Jay Kettle-Williams