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.

Seriously though, I do find that things seem to be a little bit ‘flat’ after all the festivities of Christmas and New Year and January seems to be so quiet. But for many it is like that all the time. Remember all the adverts for Crisis at Christmas and the Salvation Army in the run up to Christmas? They were asking us to donate in the region of £25.00 in order to give a homeless person a Christmas meal, a warm place to stay, the opportunity to bath or shower, to get clean warm clothes and also to have access to medical and dental treatment. Can you imagine what that must mean to those who benefit? How wonderful for them – but also how sad that it is something they can only have once a year……..

We are so fortunate to live in communities which are so active and alive with events leading up to Christmas. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had any part in both church and village events for the benefit of others – and to commend you for it. Many events take a lot of hard work to stage, which is often done by so few people, I wonder if any of you will think about joining in next year, helping out and making it not such a daunting task for the few! Go on – have a go – you might find that you enjoy it!

I do hope that those of you who joined family over Christmas enjoyed seeing them and I hope especially that you took a few moments to remember that Christmas began with a family, a very ordinary family, with whom many can identify. We remember the agonising of Mary together with the joy of acceptance of what God had asked of her. The unease of Joseph, the message of the angels and the absolute amazement of the coming of Jesus. Many parents feel the very same feelings these days and will feel the pressure of parenthood for some time to come too. Please remember parents who struggle with their feelings and responsibilities. Do whatever you can to help others in whatever small way – it could make the world of difference.

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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