Revd.  Phil Smith writes: –

Dear friends,

I hope this letter finds you well as we venture into a new month and it feels another new chapter in the history of our nation as we continue the good fight against COVID-19.

I personally am feeling optimistic on several fronts – for me (and the Met office) March heralds the first month of Spring and I, like them, keep the seasons in neat 3-month packages and so hopefully we can say goodbye to the winter weather. Indeed, on the 28th of March British Summer Time begins.

Secondly – COVID-19.  I thank God every day that He created people with the gifts and skill-set to formulate a vaccine so quickly that has given the entire world Hope that would not have been there otherwise. In this country we are equally blessed with our NHS that has just been amazing throughout including delivering the Vaccination programme.  As I am writing this the England’s COVID Road Map has just been published and it looks like I am scheduled for a much needed haircut in April.

But on a more serious note, I am aware of how difficult it has been for nearly everyone over this Covid period – particularly those who have suffered the loss of a loved one Covid related or not and how we all look forward to a time when we can get back together again, not only in church but also meeting up in our homes.

You may be reading this article on the BBC churches website and I would urge you if you haven’t yet, to click on all the headings – Welcome, Worship, Connect and Pictures and the links underneath each.  Every time I do this, I am always struck by the strong sense of HOPE which abounds throughout, be it in pictures – the gallery is a must – or word or what is available for us to engage in.

During the month of March, we continue to journey through the season of Lent in preparation for the annual celebration of the death and resurrection of our Lord at Easter.  Lent is a good time for self-reflection – time of penitence – looking back as where we have fallen short – recognising that and saying sorry and also equally a time for growth – seeking out those God given opportunities that lay ahead.

None of this is possible however without Hope – a total belief that we will get through these difficult times and that a brighter future with Jesus at its centre awaits.

I am looking forward to the day when we can all meet up again and celebrate in prayer, praise and sacrament – lets hope it won’t be too long.

Every Blessing,  Revd Phil