A Letter from Fr. Tim
I write this just after having finalised the several prayers I am going to say at Remembrance Services at John Bunyan Primary School, Tabor Academy, the Public Gardens Act of Remembrance and then the Civic Service at St Michael’s. In consequence, my mind – unable at the best of times to cope with too much variety – is filled with these matters, when of necessity for this letter I must turn my thoughts to Christmas!
Looking through my various files on Remembrance, though, I was struck by a quotation I had written down from a Radio 4 Thought for the Day a few years back which was given by an army chaplain.
He had been based at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan with our troops, and he commented that the soldiers serving out there felt that Remembrance was at least as important as Christmas.
Of course, by the time you read this letter, Remembrance Sunday – even one as auspicious as that commemorating the centenary of the ending of the First World War – will not be at the forefront of your mind or mine, I dare say. But, I suppose that one of the great points of Christmas is the thought that God gave his Son “to take our nature upon him and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin” as the Collect for Christmas Day says.
At the moment I cannot muster up a lot of enthusiasm for all the razzmatazz that Christmas will doubtless bring to our Community, but I find myself once more, even now, excited and moved by the Christmas thought that God himself becomes one of us: that he may be seen in the sweet babe of Bethlehem, but also in that person in the dugout or the trench, the wave-battered vessel on the sea or the damaged and spluttering plane – or indeed in anyone in any place experiencing fear and pain, as well as joy, laughter and contentment.
The thing about our faith is that it is founded on the remembrance – the belief – that God knows what human life is like because he truly lived it. It encompasses all of life and reaches out to all of creation.
This Christmas, may we all know in our hearts, our minds and in our lives the joy of Emmanuel : God – with – us
With my good wishes and prayers, as ever, Fr. Tim
From the Parish Registers
October 21 Oliver George Baker
28 Cade Jaxson Ghaly
Kairo Gray Ghaly
November 4 Nico Connor Lacey
25 Hunter Andrew Reay
November 14 Kenneth Kippen (94)