Letters from the Vicar

From the Rectory 

Christmas is coming! Much time, effort, money and resources are spent on our seasonal celebration; but if we don’t keep things in perspective all can seem wasted by unforeseen circumstances.

Turkeys, we are told, will be in short supply this Christmas. Usually, outbreaks of bird flu die out over the summer months but this year they have persisted and spread. As a result, there will be a major shortage of free-range turkeys, ducks and geese in the run-up to Christmas. For fear of losing their whole flocks to an outbreak of the disease, some farms are culling healthy turkeys early and putting them in deep freeze for sale later – meaning smaller, (and more expensive) birds for sale this Christmas. Others farms hit by the disease may very well go out of business.

Abroad there is War in Ukraine, famine in Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan, and the aftermath of flooding and other natural disasters.

At home there are impending strikes of public sector workers- nurses, rail workers, postal workers and perhaps others which threaten disruption and make this a season of less-than-usual good cheer.

The Football World cup, for some a more positive distraction(!), is nevertheless tainted by controversy over the human rights record of the host nation of Qatar. Attendance at the usual Carol services on the Sunday before Christmas is threatened by the world cup final, (will anyone attend if England are playing?)

But we are not there yet, and the season of Advent reminds us to look upwards and outwards at the bigger picture and into the cosmic scale of the events we recall at this time of the year, and ask the simple question – Did God really do this for us; for me? John Betjeman asks this question in a verse from his poem ‘Christmas’- And is it true? And is it true, this most tremendous tale of all seen in a stained-glass window’s hue a baby in an ox’s stall? The maker of the stars and sea become a child on earth for me?

Find the answer to this question and you will understand Christmas in totally way, whatever is going on around you! Wishing you all, when it comes, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,


Revd. Anthony Dickson

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