30th January 2021

Refreshing honesty from the Royal Mail delivery today when something was meant to arrive between 9.30 and 1.30 but appeared just before 3.00. ‘I thought it was meant to arrive by 1.30.’ ‘It was, sorry, but it’s here now,’ said with a disarming smile. I could not disagree with him. Tomorrow is Racial Justice Sunday and on 8th February we have the feast day of Josephine Bakhita who was a slave in the Sudan and rescued by an Italian minister and taken to Italy, became a nun, and is the patron saint of those caught in human trafficking. This is the sort of topic you would never think of as affecting Cumbria. However a few years ago the police were urged to do more about this and they responded. They now have a group who are working on this with the help of various others in the churches and other bodies. Once they began it became obvious that it was a much more serious question than they had thought. Many who are trafficked here are hidden away. They can be in nail bars, car washes, take-aways, industrial farming, seafarers and the like. They are in places we use or benefit from but never notice that they may be working in inhuman conditions. Cases are notoriously hard to prosecute as witnesses and evidence is hard to get, but we can pray as well as be aware. This is a prayer for her feast day.

O God, who led Saint Josephine Bakhita from
abject slavery to the dignity of being your daughter
and a bride of Christ, grant, we pray, that by her
example we may show constant love for the
Lord Jesus crucified, remaining steadfast in
charity and prompt to show compassion.
Through Christ our Lord.
St Josephine Bakhita: Pray for us

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