From the Rector
I was very fond of my maternal step-grandmother. She brought happiness to my widowed grandfather in his final years and was loving and generous to all six grandchildren. We took her to our hearts.
I vividly recall her saying to me a couple of years after grandpa died that she absolutely hated January and February.
She said they were the worst months of the year; Christmas and New Year are past; the days are short and bleak, and it seems an awful long way to spring and Easter.
I imagine that many people who live alone share those views. And this year, 2021, amidst all the fear of serious third wave of infection and strict lockdown rules, all of us are finding these weeks truly testing. But as we did last time, we look for moments of hope and encouragement and we know that somehow, we will come through and rejoice when times are better.
So, I offer these small suggestions to help us weather the next few weeks, until the days are warmer and longer, the promise of spring is upon us and the news from the vaccination programme is consistently positive.
Firstly, give yourself time to look out of the window and really notice the miniature beauty of the birds that use your garden as a food source.
Even daily visitors such as blue tits, blackbirds and robins, as well as the more obviously colourful goldfinches and bullfinches, are exquisitely beautiful and signs of the glory of creation.
Secondly, make a point of verbally thanking every delivery driver or Post Office official who comes to your door.
They are every bit key workers as the others. Do the same to whoever serves you in the village shop. Where would we be without them?
Thirdly, at least once a day pick up the phone and call someone you know who is on his/her own and just offer them the opportunity of a chat, even if it only lasts two minutes.
You will be surprised how often they will be deeply grateful, and you will have brought a ray of happiness into someone’s day.
And lastly, if you pray, if you pray at all, set aside just a few minutes each day to hold before God in prayer, not just your loved ones and friends, but all those people, whether you know their names or not, whose lives are challenging or sad or whose unstinting efforts make our lives as convenient as they are.
Just hold them in God’s presence and thank him for them and pray his blessing on them.
Prayer is just one way in which we can all stay connected, as we acknowledge our common yearnings and hopes and recognise the shared frailty and aspirations of us all.
Pray for each other as I will pray for all of you.