Milverton, Somerset

From the Vicarage in January 2023

It is always weird to write this letter so early, in my world Christmas has not yet happened but by the time you receive the magazine Christmas will be over.

So how was it?

Sometimes we have high expectations of a time of year or special day and other people dread these occasions, so whether you have felt joy or sadness, fun or loneliness, time with others or you have opted for time alone I hope you found some peace and some hope.

Then here we are….2023…we had high hopes for last year, maybe even higher hopes for this new year. I have recently been reminded what is most important in my life and maybe you too have faced similar challenges. In a time of stretched resources, cost and complications of visiting family and friends, try stopping and reflecting…what are my priorities this year?

As Christians we may reflect but also pray for guidance seeking light at the end of the tunnel, a clear pathway into the future.

If you feel uncertain or despondent about the future talk to others and we are all challenged to listen and care for those who need support.

This has been a well-known verse for many years, but still helps many of us to focus in 2023….

These words by Minnie Louise Haskins, “the gate of the year” have been used at royal occasions from George VI’s 1939 Christmas broadcast to the funeral of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. 

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

Wishing you hope and light in 2023.