Dear Friends

Here we are at the beginning of another new year. I had a conversation with someone recently who said they couldn’t wait for the new year as they seem to have had so many things go wrong in 2019 that they would be glad to see the back of it. For many of you, including myself, 2019 has been a difficult year, and there is a sense that we want to leave behind the difficulties and heartache, and that’s totally understandable.


For several years now we have spent news year’s eve with Rob’s family in Chester Le Street. We always stand together, hold hands and sing ‘Auld lang syne’ at the turn of the year. I have to admit, I don’t really know the words, other than the first couple of sentences, and I don’t have a clue what the song means. But according to the Independent newspaper, ‘The phrase “for auld lang syne” essentially boils down to “for (the sake of) old times”’. The article goes on to say that New Year’s Eve itself is a time when people come together to recall past joys and sorrows, specifically those spent in each other’s company.

It is good to take time and space to reflect on the joys and sorrows we have experienced. When we do, we may find that even the sorrows have joys within them. The New Year gives us an opportunity to also give thanks for the things that have happened.


One of the things we know is that with God there is always the opportunity to start anew. The New Year is a time when we can not only look back and reflect on what has been, but we can also look forward to what our hopes and dreams are as we move into the future.


I hope that over the Christmas & New Year break, when the pace of life slows, you can take some time and space to reflect, to think about the year past and the year to come, and that you can offer it all to God, and invite God to join with you in the year ahead.


A prayer for the new year:


Loving God,

You make all things new

You bring hope alive in our hearts,

and cause out spirits to be born again.

Thank you for this new year,

for all the potential it holds.

come and kindle in us a mighty flame

so that in our time,

many will see the wonders of God

and live forever to praise your glorious name.



Wishing you a joyous and peaceful new year.

Every blessing


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