Archive for November, 2018

December letter

Dear everyone.
In a book recently I came across these words ‘We can never underestimate the value of friends.’ This I believe is important at every level of society and in many different kinds of friendships-some lifelong and others that sometimes drift in and out of our life experience.
Never has there been a greater need for human beings to develop the gifts of friendship, they are gifts which will serve us well throughout our lives. Those of us who have lost our partners or people who are desperately lonely for many other reasons find many friends a source of great blessing, and we can reciprocate by listening to what their needs are too. It requires trust, and a willingness on our part to really listen.
One of the most fascinating and helpful things that can happen to any of us is to have a conversation on a train,bus or plane where we find ourselves talking with someone we have never met before and unlikely to meet again. This happened to me recently on a long train journey where a woman shared with me her life story of relationships, and how she was hoping that in the future she would meet someone with whom she would build up a permanent relationship.
She wanted to hear what my story was, and I related to her my own sense of loss, and how I had been held tremendously by a great variety of friends. In many ways for me as a clergyman the experience of bereavement has helped me in my understanding of other people’s sense of loss too and in a strange way had enriched my pastoral ministry.
As we celebrate Christmas whatever our outlook may be, can I suggest we especially give thanks for our friends. It may be appropriate to do this in our prayers, or even add others whom we ought to befriend especially because of their special needs.
The Christmas season of Goodwill is also the season of Good Intention to every kind of person. This was the message of the Angels on the first Christmas Day, that there should be peace on earth. We should have an attitude of friendship towards all people we meet, perhaps especially in political situations where it is very easy for attitudes of hatred and ill will to flourish.
Let us pray for a CULTURE OF FRIENDSHIP to be strengthened throughout this Christmas season and also be thankful to God for all who have shown us friendship and support in our times of need.
Blessings be yours during this coming Christmas Tide,
Sincerely -David

Read Full Post »

November letter

Dear Everyone.

The first time I went to Berlin was during the Cold War in 1955. I travelled in the Berlin corridor at night and I only saw the inside of a very overcrowded train.

This October I saw a vibrant city. The first night we went on a short river cruise and viewed many of the historic buildings of Berlin.On the second day we travelled on a sightseeing bus. We were told that 70% of Berlin was destroyed during the war, but as a result, many unique and imaginative buildings have been built.

World tourists were there in large numbers, and much that we saw was very emotional: remains of the Berlin Wall, individual memorials to men and women who had tried to swim across the River Spree to escape from East Germany, only to be shot in the process,the Holocaust Memorial, a memory garden to Jews and Romany’s who had been murdered during the Nazi regime. Near some remains of the Berlin Wall there was a photographic display of politicians, creative thinkers, Jews, gypsies, disabled people and those classed as imbecile’s who ‘stood in the way’ of a programme of ethnic cleansing. A sober reminder of what can happen in any part of the world when democracy gets seriously damaged by oppressive leaders.

This regime began amongst those who perpetrated hate crimes and threatened all who resisted their policies. Great bravery was needed to stand up to these pressures by anyone who wanted to see ‘right prevail.’

The day on which I started to compile this letter is known in the Christian calendar as ‘All Saints Day’ when we remember all kinds of people who have stood up for what is right, and sometimes had to pay heavily for the consequences.’ Blessed are the peacemakers’ says Jesus in the Beatitudes ‘for they shall be called the sons of God.’

Let us at this remember all people have shown great bravery,and suffered much when true law and order in society are being damaged, especially this year as we remember the centenary of the ending of the First World War.

It is important however that we all learn the art of speaking the truth in the face of evil in the world .May we all be willing to follow the good examples of all those who have gone before us.

With all good wishes and every blessing,




Read Full Post »