Welcome to The Glaven Valley Benefice

Thoughts from The Rectory

January 2021

Dear all,

Exactly 12 months ago, in my thoughts for January 2020, looking to the year ahead, I quoted Benjamin Franklin: “In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes”.  And I was musing that “in life we never know for certain what’s round the corner, and sometimes life can deal us a blow that takes some recovering from”.

Well, little did I know at that stage – little did any of us know – what was in store for the year ahead!  Life has certainly dealt us a blow, in the shape of Covid, which is indeed going to take a long time to recover from, in all sorts of ways.  But thank God, vaccines are now being rolled out, and we pray that things will improve from here on, even if it will take a long time to defeat this virus (especially in poorer parts of the world).

This has been such a difficult period for many, including in terms of income, employment, and mental health.  As so often happens in any crisis, it’s the disadvantaged who are hit hardest.  We must find ways, and exhort those in authority, to support the vulnerable and the voiceless, and create a fairer and more equal society.

But as we’ve all seen, this challenge has brought out so much goodness and fortitude in people, through acts of kindness, community spirit, humour, generosity and creativity.  And we’re going to have to continue to draw on all those God-given gifts.  But a new year is a new start.  And we can perhaps approach this year with a new set of priorities, and a new understanding of what’s really important and of lasting value –  especially the fact that the personal, relational and spiritual things of life are ultimately more fulfilling than any material things.

As so many of us have said this year, if we have to go through a pandemic, we’re very fortunate to be going through it in an area like this: beautiful villages, sparse population, relatively low levels of infection, fresh air, peace, magnificent skies, by day and by night, and vast flocks of birds to marvel at!  We’re very blessed, and have so much to give thanks for.

I pray that this year just starting will be one of renewed hope and confidence, and that it won’t be too long before real, physical human touch will be possible again!

God bless,

Richard.

Feel free to contact me on [email protected]  or by phone on 740686.

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