Rector’s Message

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

How the weeks do pass; and here we are facing the Season of Advent and the Feast of Christmas.  Preparation is all.  My late mother kept wrapping paper in a drawer; the same from year to year: “Do not rip.  Do not pull.  Be careful!”  And the same next year.

Every family has its traditions: ours was to have one grandparent one year and the other the next.  One grannie liked nothing better than lying in bed drinking gin and reading an Agatha Christie.  So Christmas Day 1976, “Grannie what can I get you?”  “A glass of gin dear, no tonic.”  At Dinner, at 3 o’clock, she shook her very red hair and fell into the wide plate, full of carrot soup, sucked it up and spurted it down the length of the white damask cloth.  Quite a work of art!

My mother looked at her and said, very quietly, “Merry Christmas.”  She had of course made the stock, plucked the turkey, cooked the carrots; and being almost blind, iced the cake lying on the kitchen floor, palette knife in hand.  Happy Memories!

The heart of it all is of course the yearly Remembrance of the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  In the face of the Crib we simply fall down and adore.  The miracle is made plain.  The wonder is profoundly ordinary.  The Virgin gives birth to God made Man, her little child, needing her milk, and Joseph’s care.

We are humanly made divine.

Merry Christmas; and may I wish you a thoughtful Advent; and the most refreshing New Year.

Yours very truly,

Ian Whittle