St Syrian’s Day

holy-trinity-church-stratford-upon-avon

How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

April 23rd: St George’s Day and the Birthday of the Bard.

We share George, who was a Syrian, with Portugal, Romania, Georgia, Malta and Gozo. It is a day to raise pints of ale in honour of True Englishness in all its mongrel, inclusive, tolerant diversity. This exuberant cocktail of Celtic-Pictish-Roman-Anglo-Jutish-Saxon–Danish-Norman-Jewish-Irish-Huguenot-Jamaican-Indian-Nigerian-Polish-Syrian homo sapiens. That’s what makes up the English. So England for the English.

It is the successive, unpredictable waves of immigration, of thoughts and ideas, of people and things, to this verdant other Eden which inspires hope and holds out the promise of redemption. A thoroughfare of saints and sinners, charity and rotten lucre.

On this youthful day of spring day of blossoms and bird song, let’s not cease to build Jerusalem.