My thanks must go to the Bishop of Croydon for including the small percentage of those of us who will be quite relieved to see England go out in the first round of the World Cup. I have never shared the national obsession with football, even though I can see that it can bring a very temporary sense of unity to the country. Perhaps our performance in the Eurovision Song Contest will prepare us for a similar fate in South Africa.
Call me a sad 'cultureholic' but I am with Stephen Fry whose recent wonderful and personal documentary about Wagner on BBC 4 revealed his extasies about being in Bayreuth - the home of the Wagner Festival - and his visible excitement at even touching the door handle into the Festspielhaus. (Echoes of Psalm 84: 'I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than dwell in the tents of the wicked.') Thank the Lord that BBC 4 offers football-phobes a place of sanctuary over the next few weeks.
Does anyone else share my view?
A prayer for those simply not interested
Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever,
bless us with understanding,
strengthen us with patience
and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.