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From the Vicar - December 2020

05/12/2020

An Unusually Special Christmas! 

     I’m sure you will all agree, it’s been an incredibly difficult, challenging , frustrating, worrying and stressful year for everyone in our country and throughout the world, as Covid-19 has affected and dominated virtually all aspects of our daily lives and work.

As we’ve endured two national lockdowns, and even when those have been lifted we’ve continued to face a variety of restrictions which have placed considerable limitations on meeting and coming into close contact with family and friends, travelling, shopping, running a business, attending school or university and much, much more –we’re painfully aware of the high levels of hardship and loss which have affected most of us at some point. With so many special occasions and celebrations this year being postponed, or cancelled altogether, I sense that everyone is longing for a sign of hope and light in the midst of a very long and dark tunnel we’re still travelling through……..

…..which brings us to Christmas 2020!  With all that we’ve been experiencing and enduring, this year – perhaps more than any other in most people’s living memory – we need to be reminded, and to believe as well, that Christmas is not cancelled (though our ways of celebrating it will have to be modified this year for everyone’s safety and well-being). Even the devastating effects of Covid-19 cannot diminish the hope and light that God has graciously given our world by coming into our very existence as a truly human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, being born as one of us, Immanuel (‘God with us’), so that no matter how dark, how difficult life gets, we have the assurance that the God who loves us beyond measure is with us, knows and understands our hopes, fears and needs….He is the ultimate source of the light that dwells in the midst of our darkness and gives us faith, hope, strength and resolve to journey onward together!

This year, more than ever, we need and long for a Christmas which will lift our spirits in the midst of a pandemic, and help us experience the comfort and joy which comes from re-discovering and welcoming the living Christ at the centre of our celebrations!  Across our benefice of three churches, there will be a variety of opportunities to do this -  some ‘in-person’ (always taking into account the health and safety of all who wish to attend), and some ‘on-line’ (to give wider inclusivity for worship services which typically attract large numbers, and those who will be staying inside their homes this month).  

 We hope you will find worship services and special events which will help you and your loved ones to celebrate an unusual yet very special Christmas – with our love, prayers and best wishes  for a safe, joyous holiday and a healthy, hopeful New

 

                  Your Vicar and friend,  John Allan

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