Patrick Kelly: Remember the victims of Morecambe Bay

From a homily by the Archbishop of Liverpool, at a remembrance service for the Victims of the Morecambe Bay Tragedy
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The Independent Online

The tapestry brought to the Cathedral [Church of St Peter, Lancaster] from Saint Mary's Church, Morecambe was designed by Ray Schofield. There is no doubt what it portrays: Simon Peter and his companions on the Sea of Galilee, hauling in a net filled to breaking point with fish. But there is no less doubt, that the colours of the sky and sea reflecting the sky are those of sunset over Morecambe Bay, and the hills are unmistakably those of the Lake District.

So the tapestry sets the scene for us. We may begin with this word of Peter to Jesus: "We worked hard all night, we laboured until breaking point." I think of the emergency services. Wherever we see toil, labour, to breaking point, dedication, skill, patient endurance, going way beyond any call of duty, there we catch a glimpse of the divine.

We are encouraged today by the word of the Lord Jesus to Peter put out in the deep. For at such a time, I do not think I am alone in asking: is my heart deep enough, affectionate enough, warm enough, to hold those who perished in the treacherous sands, currents, tides of Morecambe Bay's deceiving beauty and serenity?

Jesus says: "Put out into the depths of your heart." As good stewards of God above, all of us are able to put ourselves at this service of others: you can, we can, I can, grieve and pray for the 20 women and men who died in Morecambe Bay, and for all to whom they were dear, not as faceless others, but as each and everyone a unique sister, brother, uniquely loved, uniquely named, uniquely wonderful.