THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Ceremony made me proud to be British

FROM the start I was moved by the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London.

We used to sing Jerusalem at the end of term assembly at my school in Bristol.

We were told the legend that, as a child, Jesus came to Glastonbury with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea (“and did those feet” in the first line were Jesus’ feet).

The celebration of British culture and creativity that followed was breath-taking.

We reminded the world about the great music, literature, engineering and technology that these islands have produced, about the cultures that have been melded into our way of life, and the jewel that is the NHS – our health service which is available for everyone whenever we need it.

I was glad that in telling the story of our country our Christian heritage was not excluded. Emeli Sandé’s understated singing of ‘Abide with me’ was poignant and utterly appropriate to remembering the victims of the terrorist bombings on 7/7. At the end I did feel proud to be British, and I was glad we showed this without criticising or denigrating any other people or country. We simply said: “This is who we are, and this is for everyone!”

JOHN BENNETT

Vicar of St Mary and St

Nicolas, Spalding