Happy New Year!
2020 is a year many of us will be glad to say goodbye to. As a new year begins we find light at the end of what has felt like a very long tunnel. Vaccines approved and ready to roll out in our communities- the end of social-distancing a distinct possibility.
Christmas Day celebrations will have been muted this year with the usual festive gatherings and family hugs replaced with socially distanced exclusiveness and the Zoom or Facetime replacement of a warm hug. Whilst I am ever thankful for technology which allows us to connect, the absence of family all together at Christmas is hard for all of us.
As a church we will have held our most popular Christmas services online. In this season of Christmas, which continues until Epiphany on Sunday 3rd January, this has been particularly difficult for everyone, as the incredibly popular crib and carol services start the Christmas season for so many. Whilst how we celebrate Christmas has been forced to change, the message of Christmas, a God who comes to earth to be with us, is our constant comfort and joy in such uncertain times.
I’d like to begin this new year by thanking people. Our communities for living through this pandemic with such grace and neighbourliness; our local shops, pubs and businesses for keeping us well fed and supplied; our local surgery and pharmacy for their tireless care in the face of such difficulties; our school and nurseries for the nurture and care of our little futures; our churches for embracing new and different ways of being church; the Telescope team for going the extra mile to improve and incorporate our Christmas pull-out and for putting up with my last minute and overdue submissions. I am eternally grateful to you all.
Happy New Year to you and all whom you love.
Yours in Christ