Vicar's letter

Clergy letter

Dear Friends,

I have always really enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics which of course are happening in South Korea at the moment.  So many of the winter sports require incredible amounts of skill and bravery.  More often than not I find myself covering my eyes whilst watching events such as the ski jump, the bobsleigh and the skeleton due to the fact that these athletes reach incredible heights and speeds.  Only a couple of days ago Lizzy Yarnold became the first British athlete to successfully defend a Winter Olympic title in the women’s skeleton event.  Even she admits to being ‘terrified’ every time she hurtles down the icy track. 

Yet as always with an Olympic Games it is events away from the sport that can also bring joy. North and South Korea walking together under one flag during the opening ceremony was an amazing sight.  Politically there is still huge amounts of work to be done between the two nations and there are many questions for the North to answer in relation to human rights.  But for that brief moment in the Olympic stadium the military border disappeared and Korea was one again.  It was then the tiniest glimmer of hope and peace.

At this time of year we are surrounded by signs of hope and new life.  Even though the world’s attention is focused on the snowy mountains of South Korea, here we have many signs that spring is on the way.  Snowdrops in our churchyard and in our gardens and a sense that the long dark days of winter are slowly being replaced by more daylight, offer us hope of a new beginning because new life is emerging.

It is then important to hold on to these signs of new life and hope during this season of Lent.  The journey of Lent whereby we look closely at our own lives and relationship with God can help us to emerge from the wilderness with a sense of a new beginning and thus a renewed hope.  And of course, no more acutely is that new beginning and new life manifest than when we arrive at Christ’s tomb on Easter morning to find the stone rolled away and see that he is risen.  This moment then is the triumph of hope over despair, peace over division, light over darkness and life over death; in and through Jesus Christ, all has and will be made new.

By the time you receive the April copy of the magazine, we may have already celebrated Easter Sunday.  So even though it is a little early, I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.