Meet our patron

Rt. Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon

Do you remember how the Queen described 1992 She said it was an ‘annus horribilis’.  The phrase means ‘year of horrors’ in Latin and for her Majesty 1992 was a really bad one.  It was the year in which three of her four children’s marriages collapsed very publicly and Windsor Castle was decimated by fire.  Twenty years later these are distant memories and the Queen has had a wonderful Diamond Jubilee and even appeared on TV with James Bond!

For many of the young people who come to Clivey and Twist the future does not look very hopeful.  Family relations are difficult or strained, future prospects look uncertain and they wonder whether there is any other kind of year than one which is more or less ‘horribilis’.  But 2012 has reminded us that we do not have to be imprisoned by the past or trapped by other people’s low expectations of our abilities.

This summer, just before the Olympics kicked off an amazing summer of sport, the US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said there were signs the UK was unprepared.  How wrong he proved to be!  The Olympic Games, and even more the Paralympics, were incredibly successful events which brought a huge sense of pride to the country as well as national unity.  After seeing Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins and Mo Farah astonish us with their performances we were completely bowled over by the Paralympians.  Hannah Cockcroft, Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds showed us what people can do when they concentrate on their capabilities and not their problems.

It is this ‘can do’ spirit which typifies Clivey and Twist.  The Management Team, workers and supporters do not focus on obstacles but avenues through.  Jesus was well aware of how Simon-Peter might let himself and others down but he focussed on Simon-Peter’s capacity and potential.  That did not mean ignoring flaws – on the contrary Jesus had to point out the reality of Simon-Peter’s behaviour, his less attractive qualities and self-destructive tendencies.  That’s what those who truly care for us have to do and sometimes workers at Clivey and Twist have to face us with what is ‘horribilis’.  We should admire and respect them all the more for this.

I think that the Queen may well describe 2012 as an ‘annus mirabilis’ – a year of wonders.  As Patron I continue to be grateful that Clivey is about making life more ‘mirabilis’ for Swindon’s young people.

The Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield
Bishop of Swindon, Dioceses of Bristol