It has been good to be able to be back in church for public worship, and I hope that as the months pass and vaccines become readily available, we shall all feel more able to gather once again.

We re-opened on the second Sunday in Advent to light the second candle on our Advent ring, and if you haven’t been able to be present in Church, I hope you have been able to open calendar doors, or to light an Advent candle at home.

Advent provides a contrasting space in which words such as ‘waiting’ and ‘expectation’ are key, rather than the somewhat frenetic preparations for Christmas which can take over our lives. We are therefore offered something of a pause in Advent. A time to reflect upon the love of God shown in the forthcoming birth of Jesus, and in the promise of his Kingdom to come.

Then as we look forward a few days to Christmas, we know that this year will be different as restrictions continue in one form or other. For some, this will be a difficult time as they are not able to meet with loved ones, or as they mourn those who have been lost during this past year. For all, there is a hope for better times ahead, and a deep desire for light to come into the darkness.

In the weeks ahead, I pray that you may know God’s presence as we continue in Advent-days, and then a sense of the peace of Christ at Christmas.

God bless,