The starlings of Skipton have been murmurating. They gather together in the early evenings in huge flocks containing thousands of birds, swooping here and there. The sight is spectacular as the mass of birds ducks and dives, ascends and descends. It’s rather hypnotic, and it is thought to be way of keeping falcons at bay; the predators cannot focus on a single bird and become distracted by the grace and beauty of the exhibition. These huge gatherings of starlings belie their overall decline in numbers. Their populations have plummeted by 80% according to the RSPB. This makes their airborne acrobatics all the more worthy of attention.

We Christians have declined numerically, and our displays of the gospel have become unimposing and easily side-lined. Nevertheless, what few of us there are should not be ashamed of publicly displaying our faith and working with each other to do so. Not only does it perturb the enemy of our souls, but the feet that carry good news are deemed beautiful by God.

As an aside, my car is covered in bird muck for having been parked beneath the murmurations. If you want another metaphor for British Christianity, I’m sure there’s one here that could be successfully developed.