Well, March 29 2019, the cut off date for our withdrawal from the European Union is getting ever closer and you can’t help notice the temperature of political debate rising.

This past week saw a mass demonstration march in London in support of the People’s Vote.

The strain on Teresa May’s face and political leaders involved in negotiating an exit deal is clear.

The competing calls from within political parties and lobby groups grows ever stronger as crunch time approaches.

Interesting times! We might be tempted to think a unique piece of history playing out, a once in a life time moment.

At Romsey Abbey we just celebrated our local saint, Saint Ethelflaeda, Abbess in the Abbey and someone who has inspired the spiritual yearnings of people in and around Romsey.

As well as a wonderful exhibition of sculpture by Peter Eugene Ball and dedicating Chris Gollon’s St. Ethelflaeda, we were treated to a talk about ‘Anglo Saxon Superwomen’ by Dr Janina Ramirez.

It was an engaging, fascinating talk. I didn’t know there were so many Anglo Saxon super women.

Not super women with superhero powers, but women who had considerable influence in using power and authority to shape the future life of both church and society for the common good, and in a male dominated world!

At the end of the talk during a Q&A session, one question stood out.

‘Is there anything today’s political leaders can learn from these women of the past’?

That seemed to be a question that lit Dr. Janina Ramirez’s fire!

‘Yes’ was the answer.

History certainly does repeat itself, but whenever leaders of influence are guided by principles of generosity, kindness, respect, humility and pragmatism, they leave a lasting mark which shapes the common good.

Revd Thomas Wharton

Vicar of Romsey Abbey