Festive greetings to you all!
This is how I usually begin the Round Robin letter I write every Christmas. I know that for some, such letters are nightmares to read but for me, it is the only way of talking to my friends and family, especially if we haven’t been in contact for a while- in fact, to be honest, some since the previous Christmas.
For me, it is a time to go back over the year and look at all that has happened. Yes, for all of us, there are the sad and bad times when we have worried and felt that we are in places where there is little or no hope for things to get better. But then there are also the times of joy and happiness. When I think of these times, it is the people around me that I remember who have supported me and given me something to smile about.
These people abound in every community – whether it is in a close and warm community like Wyke Regis or in living churches like All Saints – “up the hill” – or St. Edmunds -“ down the hill.” These churches are more than stone, bricks and mortar . They are places which act as beacons to the community in everything that they do and say in the name of the God who loves us and who watches out for us all, whether we know it or not, or whether we believe it or not.
The Christian faith teaches us that God is in all of us , that we are all made in His image and that we are his hands on earth. This year, 2018 when we celebrate the end of the first World War, we think especially of the need for peace in our world today. We need an end to fighting and a return to normal living for the millions displaced by war, the majority of whom are children, women and the elderly and sick. For this to happen, each one of us needs to be at peace in ourselves and with all those in our community.
For Christians, Jesus is the symbol of peace and of love. Come and join us this Christmas in one of the joyful services that celebrate the birth of Jesus, or just come to enjoy the peace of All Saints and St. Edmund’s which have been places of worship, prayer and community for many years. They are your churches and they beat in the heart of your community.
May God bless you, your homes and all those you love this Christmas.
Wishing you a merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year
The Revd. Betty Port
Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.