Faith at Work XIII
Over the last few months, Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, has been drawing people in to the vision of the i54 Technology Park that they are plan to develop between the Wobaston Road and the M54. They have been consulting widely with all sorts of people, putting across their plans to local people prior to seeking outline planning permission, exploring the transport issues and encouraging business to consider investing in the site. If plans come to fruition, the whole area stands to gain from increased employment prospects, perhaps over 6000 jobs, and much prestige for having the development on our doorstep in Wolverhampton.
Since it will form part of the Wolverhampton-Telford Technology Corridor, it comes under my brief as one sent out from the BCUIM (Black Country Urban Industrial Mission) to offer chaplaincy there. I now delight in saying that I am chaplain to a green field but of course there is scope for engaging in all the preparation before the Park comes into being. Prior to my ordination to the priesthood in June, I attended a silent retreat led very ably by Jackie Searle in which she explored the four central elements of the holy communion liturgy where we "take, bless, break and give" the bread and wine. She extended that to ministers being formed in the same way by the hand of God and it occurs to me that the i54 Technology Park needs to progress along a similar path.
First of all, the land has been "taken" to support the vision; without basic resources, life cannot be sustained and this land promises to become the foundation of much enterprise.
Second, the land has to be "blessed", as do all the gifts that we have, so that it may become productive; much effort has already gone on into reclaiming it and preparing it for new use.
Third, the land has to be "broken" up and shared by all who risk participating; we celebrate the same in worship around the communion table.
Fourth, the land has to be "given" to its tenants for them to use well; this principle of stewardship has exercised us since the beginning of time and is often illustrated by reference to the beginning of the book of Genesis as part of our global responsibility. So, let us ask for God's blessing on our efforts to create the i54 Technology Park using words that the United Reformed Church use as they offer themselves in preparation for communion:
Through your goodness we have ourselves to offer,
fruit of the womb, and formed by your love.
May we become your servants in the world.
Blessed be God for ever.
This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2005-06-28