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Letter from Sandy Emery, Associate Priest - January 2019

Dear Friends

January is the time of year for new beginnings and as tradition has it many of you will have made New Year’s resolutions all too soon to be broken. Now I am older and hopefully wiser I never make these resolutions, especially to start something rash such as a diet, because I know my will power is weak when it concerns what I eat. However, I do instead of giving up something try to make promises to do something extra in my life. This just seems like a more positive way forward to me.

We in this Benefice of Minchinhampton with Box and Amberley also have a new beginning about to commence at the end of this month with the appointment of a new Rector, Revd Howard Gilbert. Howard and his wife Susannah will have the new beginning of living in their new house and getting to know their new communities. Their two little girls Daisy and Lucy have the new beginning of attending a new school and making new friends in Minchinhampton. All these new beginnings will be exciting, challenging and maybe daunting and they will need our prayers in the months ahead to ensure a smooth transition from their old beginnings to a new future with us.

Hopefully it may be a new beginning for those who attended church over the Christmas period who only ever come to church on special occasions but have felt this year the power of the Holy Spirit calling them to a new beginning in embracing a new relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray that they also find a warm, friendly welcome in our churches so that they may join us on a regular basis. Truly a new beginning for them.

The new beginning of a new year brings with it the fact that January is one of the darkest months of the year and the weather is usually cold and miserable.The evenings seem to draw in at about 4 o’clock when darkness descends.There is no wonder that people feel so low during this time of the year without having much sun and having such short daylight.

Perhaps if you know someone that is feeling the effect of this month or is lonely you can give them a telephone call or you could go visit them or better still you could invite them to church. Either to a Sunday service or to one of our weekday Cuppas. There are the Friday morning cuppas at Amberley and Box or the Wednesday afternoon cuppa at Minchinhampton where people not only can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and cake but also some friendship. (Details in the magazine and on our websites.) Other new beginnings? Well I think I am not the best qualified to make comment on our nation’s new beginnings with the impending ongoing negotiations of Brexit but I can offer prayer that the Government makes the right decisions on our behalf.

May I also ask others to pray for all of the new beginnings I have written about.

With love and best wishes