The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

Associate Rector

The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843

Assistant Priest

The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624


January Leader

Over the years I have celebrated New Year in different ways. In younger days I had been known to go to Trafalgar Square which was totally mad but followed by a long and cold 4 mile trek back home as public transport was virtually nonexistent at that time of the night back then. Other years I experienced different customs as I was often in various European cities for Taize Youth gatherings. These gave way to the more predictable parties and dinners of middle age, not forgetting a few dreary watch night services when I was a curate, which usually consisted of me, the vicar and one or two others trying to pray in a freezing church with fireworks going off and me wishing I was somewhere else! Latterly, with a young family, the idea, and indeed the notion of staying up late when all you want to do is get some sleep, is unappealing to say the least.

If there is an equivalent of a New Year bah humbug, then I suppose I am heading that way because the problem I have with it is, what are we celebrating anyway, just the mere passing of time, the changing of a number, the inevitable movement towards our old age, decline and death?

For many, New Year can be harder than Christmas as people face the prospect of another year without the person they love, without the chance of buying their own home, or getting a job. I don’t like getting older and the idea that I am going to be another year further away from being 21 is not great; but we are where we are and as the hymn says, ‘Time like an ever rolling stream bears all its sons away.’

I’m not sure what to do or feel this New Year. It’s always lovely to see close family and friends and the excuse for a get together is welcome. Perhaps we should learn not just to celebrate time once a year but to try and value the precious gift of time and life every day, even when we are unhappy: what the Saints of old called ‘learning to find the presence of God in the ordinary.’

How easy it is to wish our time away towards the weekend, or the next holiday. Many of our anxieties stem from living and imagining futures that haven’t happened yet. I hope the following will help us focus on the precious gift of time; the gift of our lives from God.

For the value of one year, ask a prisoner.
For the value of one month, ask a mother of a premature baby.
For the value of a week, ask the relative of somebody in hospital.
For the value of a one hour, ask two lovers
For the value of a minute, ask me when I have just missed a train!
For the value of one second, ask a person who avoided an accident
For the value of one millisecond, ask the winner of the silver medal.

As someone once wrote; “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift.” That is why it is called the present. Happy New Year!




Clergy Rota Downloads

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January Service Rota
February Service Rota