Vicar’s Blog January 2019

Vicar's Blog ~ January 2019

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

Dear friends,

It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and successful Christingle offerings much! That said, each year Chris Moon and the Drama Group folk create a refreshed presentation of the ever-so-familiar that captivates all ages and captures the true Christmas Spirit of the most special occasion that Christmas Eve afternoon has become for us. Thank you to everyone who helps with that, and indeed to all our musicians, flower arrangers and sidesmen who keep everything so smoothly and warmly flowing at the welcoming end! We returned this year to a more straightforward ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’, attended by the Mayor of Enfield and nearly 200 others, and this was also a great success, coming so hot on the heels of the equally accomplished Advent Carol Service. Thank you to Jonathan, Rory, and Keith, for all their efforts and to those who sing both regularly and occasionally with us. Also many thanks to Gill and her florists for the lovely Christmas décor, and to our servers, readers and intercessors: to all who help present our church to the world at this most significant time of the year. As J.S. Bach would have said – AMDG – Ad majorem Dei Gloriam - all to the greater glory of God!

Christmas has given us some respite from the relentless haggling over Brexit. Reading parish magazines of the past in relation to the Armistice celebrations, it is noticeable that my predecessors passed comment, expressed opinion and generally recorded the mood of the community in respect of national and international events. Nowadays vicars are not expected to even have, let alone express opinions which can be dismissed as ‘political’, and for a clergyman to say anything on these matters can be so easily sideswiped with the accusation of ‘being political’. Archbishop Justin Welby made the pertinent suggestion that we need to agree, as a nation, on how to disagree gracefully, because he, and everyone else is surely right that in the coming months each of us has to choose to either sit on the touchline and watch, or contribute to the acrimony, insensitivity and indeed mendacity that the delivery of our ongoing relationship with the EU involves and how that will pan out this year. No-one can tell. The days ahead will be frustrating for all, but let us maintain, in a Christian spirit, the kindness, tolerance, patience, forgiveness and hopefulness to which we are all called in all walks of life. And amid the winter’s snowstorm of consternation and wrangling, let us never neglect the poor, the homeless, the sick and the persecuted.

The new year may not prove happy, but it is new, so let us be renewed in faith, and hope and love as the year begins.

Your friend and Vicar,