Sarum Pause for Reflection: The Unexpected

While the physical buildings of Sarum College have been closed for some few weeks our life and work goes on. We are continuing to teach and support ministry students in their formation. The work of our postgraduate theological Study through our MA offer also continues–offered online rather than in the physical space of the college.

Like many others we are keen to put our learning to use. We want to nourish the human spirit and explore what that might mean in these unsettling and rather perplexing times. So here is another week of what we are calling Sarum Pause for Reflection published three times a week on a number of themes.  

The framework is simple – a  theme, an image, some inspiration from scripture and a short reflection which might lead into some action and prayer. All contained within a few words on a standard A4 sheet. We hope that you might want to use them or share them with your friends and colleagues. Above all we hope that they will support you and encourage you in these coming days.


Last week on a Friday afternoon I managed a walk – and as I wandered my mind was full of the day’s work. Conversations, concerns and bits of encouragement. As I approached the end of the park this bridge is usually dark and a little foreboding. Suddenly sunlight opened up its arches in a new perspective.

I noticed features of the bridge that I had not seen before. The unexpected light brought reward. Modern technology, developments in science and knowledge all indicate the possibility of our advancing indefinitely in understanding and control of life. However we run the risk of losing the capacity to expect the unexpected which characterises the humility essential for being fully human.

Crane Street Bridge Salisbury (South)

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:14


Be present, O merciful God,

and protect us through the silent hours of of days and nights,

so that we who are wearied

by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,

may rest upon your eternal changelessness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

( from the service of Compline)


Recollect a time when you were taken by surprise by the unexpected. Seeing something in a different way. Hearing a piece of music differently. Perhaps, in conversation understanding someone in a different light. Name that time and let us  ask that we might be open to the unexpected in all areas of our living and loving.

Share this reflection here.

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