What an election. With the exact nature of our new government not yet revealed to us, I still had the chance to congratulate Pontypridd's new MP this afternoon.
I said I had two friends standing at this election. Mike Powell, for the Liberal Democrats, achieved what must be a record high vote for his party in this constituency, and must be congratulated for it. He worked hard, and though he must feel diappointed, I am amazed that in an area with the political complexion of Pontypridd he did so well. It is a testimony to him.
Owen Smith won, and he and Liz dropped in today. I am delighted for them. They are wonderful, wonderful people, and in Owen we will have a super MP. I refuse to have any party allegiance, but I will ally myself with good people of any colour, and Owen is such a man.
One of the things about being in a community for any period of time, and it's drawing close to ten years I've been here, is that you see the best and the worst of people, and you get to give and to receive. Mike & Owen both have been people from whom I have received much friendship, and I hope have received something from me too.
Owen & Liz used to be my neighbours here. And in my early days at St Catherine's, when I was new and knew no-one, and the church was quite different and much of what we have and do now was simply an intention and a prayer, I'd roll up to Owen & Liz's late in the evening and drink a glass of red or cadge food off their kitchen table (always excellent) and their hospitality helped me through more than they know. And I learned then that Owen always wanted this job, serving our community as MP. Not many of us get our dream jobs. I suspect it's quite the responsibility when things work out and we find ourselves standing with reality and our dreams colliding. So I pray that Owen will always be able to be as good as his intentions and his word, and help many, many folk here through the good, the bad & the indifferent that life throws at them, all the things which an MP has a chance to speak to and to influence, and that after a strongly fought campaign his natural joy would remain and become a real energy for all the people of this place that is our home.
And we pray too for the national result: I am still amazed by snippy party political comments from clergy on facebook! We have a choice: call people names, or pray that good is done. Negative or positive. Death or life. You choose.