Philanthropy as a catalyst for meaningful change: Royal couple

If actions display priorities, then the choice of the first official event attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge says a lot.

William and Kate attended a star-studded charity dinner for Ark – Absolute Return for Kids as their first official engagement since their wedding.

While what the duchess wore captured the usual attention (“a shimmering nude gown by Jenny Packham”) it was the sentiment that took them to the Ark Gala that captured mine.

The duke announced a joint venture between Ark and the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Prince William said he, his wife and brother wanted to use philanthropy as a “catalyst for meaningful change”.

Ark sponsors academy schools in the UK and programmes for disadvantaged children around the world.

Acknowledging the privileged education and upbringing he enjoyed, the Duke of Cambridge said, “So many young people do not have these advantages and as a result can lack the confidence and knowledge to realise their full potential.”

This comment carries forward the theme of the sermon preached at the Royal couple’s wedding: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Read More »

Royal couple kiss us (twice) into a new day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whatever interest there has been in the Royal Wedding to this point, it has almost been overshadowed by one small act of affection, the Royal Kiss.

As much as people have been caught up in the pageantry, celebrity and history of the Royal Wedding, humanity seems to crave even more  the intimacy, reality and spontaneity of two people touching lips to show their love.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana were the first royal couple to kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and it is rumoured that Charles first paused to ask permission of the Queen, which was duly granted.

Now William and Catherine have given their own romantic demonstration, as if to anoint the vows that went before, accompanied by the oohs and aahs of a couple of billion television viewers.

Many television commentators, swept along by the great sense of good ‘will’ accompanying the wedding, have spoken of the couple as carrying with them the hopes of a new generation and a renewed era.

But a marriage is more than a wedding service and balcony kiss (or two), and hopefully William and Catherine have taken time to learn the lessons of the past and will find their way to live with wisdom, balance, faith and, as their prayer from the wedding mentioned, generosity.

Be who God meant you to be… Royal Wedding sermon

The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres gave a stirring Address at the wedding of  Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

Billions around the world heard Rev Chartres urge William and Catherine and all listening to set the world on fire by being who God meant us to be.

He also highlighted that every wedding is a royal wedding in the sense that every bride and groom are kings and queens of creating new life.

Rev Chartres said that in marriage we are to make our spouse our ‘work of art’ while at the same time not placing on them a burden of expectation that only relationship with God can carry.

Interestingly, the sermon included a prayer composed by William and Catherine which asks God’s help in keeping their eyes fixed on what is real and important and to help them to be generous with their lives, ‘to serve and comfort those who suffer’.

Read the full sermon:

‘“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

‘Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.  

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.Read More »