CANON PETER LEONARD: Hate is always foolish, love is always wise

The residentiary Canon at Portsmouth Cathedral reflects on the wise words of Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who had some very wise words  Picture: BBC / Ray Burmiston
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who had some very wise words Picture: BBC / Ray Burmiston

You might remember the final words of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who at the end of the Christmas Day episode, before he regenerated into Jodie Whittaker: ‘You wait a moment, Doctor. Let’s get it right. I’ve got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first. Never be cruel, never be cowardly. And never, ever eat pears!

‘Remember – hate is always foolish and love is always wise. Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind. Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.’

If you were a Time Lord who had lived 13 lives and was about to regenerate into your 14th incarnation, I wonder what words of advice you would give yourself?

I suspect you couldn’t go far wrong if you stuck with the words above (maybe not the bit about pears!).

Never be cruel or a coward. Hate is always foolish and love is always wise. Try to be nice and always be kind. Laugh hard and run fast.

Be kind: that is clearly really important as it is mentioned twice.

We are already into the second month of 2018. At the beginning of this year, people will have made resolutions, perhaps promising to get fit, lose weight or a whole host of other life changes they feel will make them a happier, better person.

There is something about the perceived passing of time, from one year to the next, which encourages us to reflect on ourselves and our lives.

Each year the cathedral takes an annual theme to inform our education and engagement programme.

In 2018 it is time – and we will be thinking about how the exploration of time can deepen our understanding of ourselves, our spirituality and our engagement with the world around us.

Events include an inflatable planetarium and free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, a series of Doctor Who evenings in The Dolphin pub, plus lectures and art projects to name a few.

There are details of these and more on our website.

The cathedral has been more than 800 years in the making, the people of Portsmouth are part of that timeline.

How will we use the 365 days of 2018 to have a healthier understanding of ourselves and our place within the world around us?

Portsmouth Cathedral is in High Street, Old Portsmouth.

For more information, call (023) 9282 3300 or go to