I have never felt so sad about our world.

When someone I love who survived Auschwitz tells me that this is the worst she has known since the war, when protests on our streets are filled with hatred for a race that has been the target for every generation over centuries, when that hatred has spilt over into attacks on children leaving the school gate, when otherwise confident people are afraid to speak of their faith and heritage, when there are all too few who had digested sufficient history to read the signs of the times, when in the eyes of so many the victims have brought it on themselves, when all of this and so much more becomes increasingly ‘acceptable’ I am more than sad, I am devastated.

When life is cheap and gratuitously vile videos are posted on line, when the innocence of children is taken from them by pure evil, when those whose ancestors have lived for centuries in the same village are forced from their homes, when difference is seen as a threat and not something to learn from and rejoice in, when tyranny rears its head once again in our world and threatens the very values that have brought so much progress to our world I am more than sad, I am devastated.

This is the world in which we now live.

The Darkness has descended on many parts of our world, in minds that are set on an archaic worldview, in those that know only of death and destruction as the means to vent their feelings and achieve their aims, in schools where teachers are afraid to utter truths, in the arrogance that ignores the lessons of history.

Today, as on occasions in the past when evil has stalked our world, the good must not allow their sadness to lead to inaction, nor indeed to wrong choices based on self-interest. Today, and not tomorrow, we have to rebuild trust in our cities, towns and villages, to restore respect for one another and to reacquaint ourselves with the need to make sacrifices for the sake of a long term future.

Today any comfortable peace is an illusion in a world that is being increasingly engulfed by those who would destroy all that the generations have achieved with blood, toil, tears and sweat. Not for many a year has our way of life been so seriously threatened.

Today we have to address the inequalities that foster frustration, we have to nurture a sense of identity worthy of the common good and we have to again rise to the challenge.

Let not those who bring on our sadness beat us.