Just when we thought our churches were returning to normal, the Omicron variant of the Corona Virus arrived. Understandably, elderly church members were reluctant to join us for our Christmas services, which, despite this variant, went ahead as normal, with reduced numbers in our congregations. The outdoor Crib Service at St. Edith’s was the most well attended service (despite unpleasant drizzly rain throughout the service), perhaps reflecting this hesitancy to return to the actual church building. The Carol Service at St. Mary’s was also well attended; this was, however, before the threat of the Omicron variant became fully apparent.
The Archbishop of Canterbury gave us an encouraging press release, stressing the need to keep services going as normal over the Christmas period, emphasising that there was (and I quote) ‘very, very, very little evidence’ that churches were centres for the transmission of the virus, citing the drafty, large open spaces in churches, and the ability to safely socially distance, as deterrents to the spread of the virus.
We have therefore returned to social distancing and the wearing of face masks in church, as we endeavour to minimise the risk of catching the virus whilst attending church.
Please join us for worship as we enter a New Year. We will continue to have All Age Worship, led by Chris Gilbert, on the first Sunday of each month. We hope our church schools will be able to join us for Education Sunday on 6th. February. We will also be having our usual Plough Sunday Service at St. Edith’s on 9th. January, and a special, candlelit joint Meditation at 4.00 p.m. on 2nd. January in St. Edith’s.
2022 lies ahead. We can approach the New Year with anxiety and negativity, or we can look forward to a future in which we know God is still there; when, as Julian of Norwich tells us, ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be exceedingly well.’

Published 30/12/2021

Psalm 9
“We end with words from the start of Psalm 9, themed ‘God never ignores our cries for help.’ I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvellous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.’ We sincerely hope that a spirit of optimism and hope will prevail in our communities as we enter 2022. New Year blessings to you all, Revd Tim and Revd Norma “