“In the bleak midwinter – ♪♪” – will I am sure have featured at Carol Services and singing in the Dartmouth Arms and the Pigot, but just now it feels a bit too close to the truth! (writing this after the first really snowy weekend we have ‘enjoyed’ for several years) But enjoy is what many people certainly did – snow days allowing children and parents (and grandparents?) to spend some quality time together in the fresh air, making snow angels, snowmen, having snowball fights and sledding down any bank you care to find! And the church stayed open! Yes, when many of my colleagues were having to cancel services due to problems gaining access to their buildings, we once again had reason to be grateful that our beautiful church is planted slap bang in the middle of the village and is easily accessible. Grateful too that the new heating is now working!
The snow also brought out the best in many people with offers of help for the elderly and housebound all over social media. This really is a great community to be a part of. And thanks too to our local farmers who made sure that our roads remained passable – with care.
Elsewhere in this magazine I am sure you will find more information about the splendid efforts made by some of our young people in church – performing to raise money to help bring teachers from the primary school in Kenya with which our own school is linked, on a visit to the UK. Last year Alison C-S and her daughter Millie visited them in Kenya and came back with wonderful stories to tell us – clearly a life-changing experience for them both. We look forward to welcoming the Kenyans in church in due course. And it was great to be reminded how very talented some of our youngsters are!
The New Year inevitably brings to mind resolutions too. Good intentions to live lives that are healthier, more active, kinder and more compassionate. Before we know it Lent will be upon us (it starts in mid-February this year), and that will also give us opportunities to exercise our generosity and compassion.
Discipleship, Vocation and Evangelism are the three big themes that Bishop Michael, the Bishop of Lichfield want us to be thinking about as we move into 2018. Quite how we will work those three out in our own context of Pattingham and Patshull remains to be seen, but I am sure we will be hearing more about them as we journey together through the year ahead.
Here’s hoping a bleak and snowy midwinter soon give way to a warm and inviting spring!
Happy New Year