“Faith, hope and charity” were famously the names given to the three Gladiator biplanes (flown by six volunteer pilots) that defended Malta in the early days of the Second World War. They were also, of course, Paul’s list (in I Corinthians 13) of the three things that will “abide”. Paul put “charity” (or “love”, as we would now translate it) first of the three, but faith and hope must surely come a close second and third. For without faith, love becomes earth-bound, and will eventually die. And without hope, all our endeavours (like “all political careers”) ultimately end in failure. Even Winston Churchill said, at the end of his life, that he had “achieved everything, eventually to achieve nothing”. Without hope beyond this life, as Paul stated two chapters later in Chapter 15, “we (Christians) are, of all people, most miserable”. “But now is Christ risen from the dead…”, he immediately continues – and so faith and hope combine to carry us through. Faith is probably these days the most discounted of the three, and yet in real terms it is the foundation stone of everything. For without faith, we don’t have God. And without God, we have nothing that will last.

Grand Chaplain