Rector's Letter - January 2017

It is hard to believe as I enter my third year here as Rector (three years in February!) that we are at the start of another New Year. It is a time when many of us take opportunity to reflect on the past and look towards the new. There may be things from this last year we need to leave behind, and there may be things we are excited about carrying on into the new season. It is always good to pause a moment, on the threshold of the turn of the year, to gather our bearings. We can never know what the year holds for ourselves, our nation and our world. But we can orientate ourselves and determine those things we wish to do or be differently this year. There is a sense both that we have come full circle, and that we can begin again, learning from and being enriched by the past.

Celtic spirituality had a real sense of rhythms and patterns of the year, and so I want to offer you a 'modern' Celtic-inspired blessing. And may I add my own prayers for a year of blessing for yourselves.

Lord, you who live outside of time and reside in the imperishable moment,
we ask your blessing this New Year upon your gift to us of time.

Bless our clocks and watches, you who kindly direct us
to observe the passing of the minutes and hours.
May they make us aware of the miracle of each second of life we experience.
May these, our ticking servants, help us not to miss that which is important,
while you keep us from machine-like routine.
May we ever be free from being clock-watchers
and instead become those who journey through time.

Bless our calendars, these ordered lists of days, weeks and months,
of holidays, holydays, fasts and feasts - all our special days of remembering.
May these servants, our calendars, once reserved for the royal few,
for magi and pyramid priests, now grace our homes and lives.

May they remind us of birthdays and other gift-days, as they teach us
the secret that all life is meant for celebration and contemplation.

Bless, Lord, this New Year, each of its 365 days and nights.
Bless us with new moons and full moons.
Bless us with happy seasons and a long life.
Grant to us, Lord, the New Year's gift of a year of love. Amen.

With best wishes