23rd December 2021

Dear Friends

Who would have imagined two years ago, at Christmas 2019, how our lives would have changed by Christmas 2021! The government now tells us that we should routinely be sticking cotton buds up our noses for testing purposes, wearing face masks in church and limiting the groups we should celebrate with over Christmas. All this as the result of a virus that has been devastating the world, mutating en route, and turning our lives upside down. One of the many consequences of this is that sadly Fr Simon has contracted COVID and, although he is recovering well, he needs to be in isolation over Christmas. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Meanwhile life in our community at St Nicks goes into overdrive as we prepare for our Christmas celebrations. Fr Alan and I are enormously grateful to so many of you who have stepped in to fill gaps created by the virus. You have supported us in so many ways, in particular our churchwardens, administrator, director of music and sacristan. Thank you all so much! 

One thing we have learned throughout this pandemic is that we are all dependent on one another. We discover that ‘no man is an island’ as John Donne wrote. As Jesus grew he did so as an independent person in a society of mutual obligation and support. If, as Christians, we believe that Jesus is God incarnate, then this submission to interdependence becomes powerfully real. It suggests that Christmas is God’s invitation to everyone to get stuck into the world, loving our neighbours, serving our communities, giving up our lives for the sake of others. 

This Christmas will again be different. But the invitation remains the same. To open our mind to a different way of being, illuminated by the light who is born into our world as one of us, offering a different way of being together.

Wishing you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Mother Eileen