This Month's Message











My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Revd. Judith Pollard
Team Vicar





I have always been intrigued by ‘Secret Santa’ around in the workplace at this time of year.  Everyone buys a gift (with a price ceiling, no bragging) and wraps it up all Christmassy. These gifts are handed out randomly to all employees.  Some will be delighted, others less so but the pleasure  is mainly in the purchase of the surprise gift, carefully chosen, and the mischievous speculation in allocating the gifts: ‘Secret Santa.’

The season of Christmas radiates good cheer which means we are more disposed to be generous or to think of others with kindness. We remain convinced that Christmas is a good thing – even those of us without Christian faith. A break from work is welcome and our empathy for the less fortunate is enhanced and we give more generously to charitable causes, such as Samaritan’s Purse.  This year their shoe-box appeal to provide a gift for children in need in areas of the world tough to live in has approached 200 boxes, an all-time high.  Huge thanks to all who contributed.

Can we encourage this spark of altruism to grow? Are we open to offer random acts of kindness?
Is there a willingness to be ‘hands-on’? Some of us already are of course - but perhaps we could do even more in our communities... Who is alone and in need of friendship, who finds shopping difficult and would welcome some practical help, who is in chronic pain and needs the distraction of an outing, a change of scene?  The inspirational story of St. Nicholas is behind the giving of Christmas presents – check it out; and the Good King Wenceslas we sing about in the carol are both seasonal role models.

As this is the Christmas and New Year edition, it’s never too early to think about new beginnings, making a fresh start. Of course, this doesn’t have to be at New Year, but it’s the logical place. Our New Year resolutions (secret, perhaps, known only to ourselves?) seem doomed to failure as we set ourselves impossibly difficult targets. Samuel Beckett once said: “Ever tried, ever failed. No matter. Try again, try harder, fail better.”  However, the optimists among us will know there’s always the blessed possibility of success - and that’s what keeps us going!

Across our ten churches, 2018 is going to be a Year of Prayer and Pilgrimage – more details coming soon!

I wish you an abundance of joy this Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year,  




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