First Word December 2023


I can't deny it, Christmas seems to come around with alarming frequency these days. I want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and extend my best wishes for a New Year that one can only hope brings a more peaceful world, where the needs of those most in need will for once take their proper priority. Advent is a time when the church reflects on the festival to come, the love of God in sending His only Son to a world He loves and seeks to change. In truth like everyone else the church is overly busy with all that Christmas brings, and we also run the danger of arriving at the day exhausted. It is a time when we try to focus on being thankful for our own lives, mindful of the fact that so many in the world are living lives harder than we can in truth imagine, and acting on that by seeking to be charitable where we can. And if we can't afford to do that, then by trying to spread some of the most expensive gifts - joy, and love and caring. Each New Year I find very poignant, what will the world be like the next time this comes around? Well we cannot know, and perhaps in some ways that is not a bad thing. I pray that the world wakes up to the dangers of division, of intolerance and hostility which seem so pervasive. I pray for a more peaceful world, a kinder world, and for a world where the blessings are shared more fairly, a more equitable world which in truth may be the best way to build a safer world. Fr Richard