St Piran’s example is one we can all follow
Bishop Philip has exhorted people to follow the lead of St Piran, by both welcoming others in and by venturing forth to serve their local communities.
Speaking at the Redruth St Piran’s Festival on Saturday, Bishop Philip said: “We sometimes forget this but Piran who made such a mark in Cornwall and whose name still marks our landscape so profoundly – Piran was not Cornish, any more than St. George was English or St. Andrew was Scottish. Piran was not Cornish, but we welcomed him in and embraced him, and we welcomed too the Christian message he brought with him.
“And we were immeasurably blessed because we embraced him. The Christian culture whch he established here has been the bedrock of Cornish of identity for one and half millennium, as much a part of Cornwall as the granite beneath our feet.
“And we should go on welcoming people here. It is not part of our Cornish identity to put up barriers. At our best we have an open-heartedness about us that we should go on expressing however we can.
“Many of the homeless people St. Petroc’s welcomes here do not have their roots in Cornwall, they may well have drifted down here from up country, but we welcome them here nonetheless. And so we should – just as we have welcomed many people here through the Cornwall Hugs Grenfell initiative.
“We welcomed Piran here – and we should go on welcoming strangers here. Jesus himself said that if we welcome anyone in his name we are welcoming him too, and there is no greater guest for us to welcome than him.”
Bishop Philip then said we should all also follow the example of St Piran in venturing forth.
“Piran did not stick at home. He ventured forth on the high seas, on his millstone according to the legend, but probably in a boat with stone ballast, to come here, to serve us, and to share good news with us.
“Maybe that’s why Cornish people have never feared to venture forth themselves across the seas, so that at one time it was said that anywhere in the world you found a hole in the ground you’d find a Cornishman, a cousin Jack, at the bottom of it.
“But venturing forth isn’t just about crossing the seas, it’s about stepping out to connect with our neighbours to love and serve them, whether that’s keeping an eye out for the single elderly housebound person across the street, making donations to the foodbank when we can, finding some way to serve in one of our community organisations – whatever it maybe.
“We follow Piran best when we step out in service, when we live according to the spirit of ‘one and all’.”