Rector's Monthly Letter January 2019

Dear Friends

We start this new year with our country in a state of political turmoil arising out of Brexit. This single issue has, since the referendum of 2016, dominated the life of our parliament. This has, I suggest, been to the detriment of many other social concerns. These include an increase in violent crime (particularly gang related knife crime and domestic abuse); our struggle to manage issues concerning mental health; a  badly stretched NHS and rising levels of material poverty.

Of course, there have been other crises throughout our history and life will always have its problems. We must also remember that there is much that is good in our nation and in our communities. Every day it is possible to see evidence of selfless love, compassion, courage and  generosity.

We cannot, though overlook our struggles and it is good to ask where God might be in the mix of it all. Someone recently said to me that church is a comfort and support when life gets difficult. And that    comfort is a real thing, not just a thought or idea that makes us feel momentarily better. We have just celebrated Christmas which reminds us that God, far from leaving us isolated, is wholly involved in the world with all its joys and its struggles. Jesus shared our human experience, but he came to turn things around; to mend the self-centered human heart that is so often at the root of our problems.

I believe that the signs of our times serve as a reminder of our need for Jesus, to not only bring us help and comfort but to change the spiritual heart of our nation.