Wednesday 17 April 2013

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher has passed without the feared disruption, led by people who knew little or nothing about her but wished to demonstrate their political leanings. Much of what has been said and written about Margaret were either lies or distortions, and nothing much has been stated about her deep compassion and her personal communication with people who had been bereaved. She would write to the least significant of people without using or seeing it as an election opportunity, seeking no publicity herself, as when she wrote to a little boy of 9 years and told him about Jesus.

I was listening to a discussions programme on television in which a Labour politician criticised her for her attitude to South Africa, when in fact she was the most sympathetic leader to that country. She was instrumental in getting Nelson Mandela freed from prison, a fact he was demonstrably grateful for, and made a point of visiting Margaret to thank her. This has been pointedly ignored by her detractors.

I agree with one commentator who wrote about her funeral service, ‘it made me proud to be an Anglican’. The service was in fact a typical well ordered service for which the Church of England is know for. The ceremony, and a very good address by the Bishop of London, will have impressed many both within and beyond the Church. There was no political tone of any kind, and tribute was paid to her humanity and deep religious faith. Here was a unique leader, one who was not ashamed to state she was a Christian, and unlike the present Prime Minister who makes the same claim, meant it; and what is more demonstrated it rather than use it as a sort of status symbol. Margaret Thatcher would never have even countenanced a discussion about having same sex marriage legalised. She was a true Christian in every sense of the term.

I see we had an inevitable left wing bishop enter the political fray, which got him his few minutes of fame in the press. The Bishop of Grantham of all places (Margaret’s home town) criticising the ceremonial type of funeral. (He has been described as wearing an earring. If this be true, could you once ever have imagined a bishop in the Church of England wearing an earring?)

I long for the day when anyone in senior position is reported in the press for saying, ‘there is no other name under heaven by which a person can be saved than in Christ Jesus.’ Or, Jesus said, ‘no one can come to the Father except through me.’

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