A very Happy New Year to you all
It was good to see so many people at our Christmas Services, it is always a nerve-wracking time, there are so many things going on, but at the same time it is so fulfilling. Christmas Day afternoon is a period of genuine joy and contentment. It’s good to rest, but time moves on and there is lots to do in 2019.
We welcome Dominic Grieve QC MP as a guest ‘In Conversation’ on Sunday 27 January at 6pm. Please do all you can to publicise this event, Facebook, Twitter and our local Chiswick websites.
On Tuesday 29 January six of us are flying to Africa, landing in Johannesburg, then Windhoek, Namibia on our way to Angola. Your prayers would be appreciated, true to form applying for a visa is quite a fraught process. Still, it will be good to meet with Fr Elias again and celebrate with him and his congregation the consecration of their new church.
We continue with our development project and I hope this year we are able to make significant progress in the restoration of our stone work.
Finally a huge thank you to everybody who made our Christmas celebrations so successful, and to everyone who work behind the scenes to ensure we are fit and able to make Christ know in this place.
I hope you have been able to enjoy these past days of the Christmas season. For me they have been a time to enjoy reading, reflecting and spending time with my family. New Year’s Day is always a particularly special day as it was the day on which I gave birth to our daughter, who now has her own children.
Amongst my reading over the New Year I have enjoyed re-reading Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem entitled ‘In Memoriam’. Though it was written more than 125 years ago it is indeed a poem that could have been written for our times. I include a few verses below:
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
With every blessing for the coming year, whatever it might have in store for us all.