Benefice Letter for January

A very Happy New Year to you all! I sincerely hope that you all enjoyed Christmas and really didn’t over indulge! It is so easy to do isn’t it? There is so much yummy food – and drink – and we are often tempted to say ‘Well it is Christmas’ and just eat, drink and be merry! I wonder how many of us are regretting it now and promising that the diet starts tomorrow?

And what about those New Year resolutions? Have you broken yours yet? We all start off with the best intentions but so easily give in to temptation. It can be similar with faith really. When we really need God we can turn to Him and just know that he is there. But when things are going smoothly it is so easy to forget all about God and do our own thing – until things go wrong again.

Thinking back to Christmas – it seems so long ago already!! – I do hope that you all received the gifts you wished for, but I am wondering about the children of Shaldon Primary School who were thinking, before Christmas, about ‘what would Jesus think of Christmas today’? it is difficult for children to understand that Christmas is really a simple birthday celebration but one which is celebrated the world over by all Christians. When Jesus was a child there was no such thing as Christmas and on his birthday, he might have received a simple wooden toy, made by Joseph, his father and not the number of presents we give and receive today. If only we could get back to the simplicity of rejoicing in the birth of our Saviour rather than all the commercialism which seems to dominate the season now!!

We are all grateful for the gifts we received but I wonder how much we just take for granted without really appreciating the effort of others. I wonder if we can continue to give to those less fortunate than ourselves throughout the year – not necessarily with money but with simple things like a smile, a caring word, a hug or by giving that precious gift of time. Please continue, as the weather gets colder, to think about your elderly neighbours, make sure they are ok and have the basic things they need and take the time to share a cup of tea and a chat – it can make all the difference to those who live alone.

Just a note of thanks to all who contributed in any way to our Christmas services and events – which were absolutely wonderful. I will try to remember to say a little more about one or two events next month. As I write this article ready for the deadline of the 13th most of our services have not happened yet!!

If you have got this far down the page – thank you for reading my ramblings once more. Keep warm, have faith in your own commitment to your New Year’s resolutions and keep faith in God, God who loves you and guides you – whether you know it or not!

With much love from the Rectory

Annie x

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