Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford
PE9 2EG

Tel: 01780 753066

January Newsletter

Hi Everyone,

Well how was it for you, Christmas 2021 that is? vAt the time of writing this article we await the deliberations of the Government to advise whether or not to expect a lonely Christmas in lockdown, or whether we can undertake the planned meeting with our extended family. vIt's all very difficult and I have to say I would not like to be in the shoes of the decision makers whose actions can affect all of our future plans.v It's been difficult enough on deciding which of our Christmas services should go ahead or which to cancel and that dilemma continues even as I write this piece. vMy sincere apologies if you made the efforts to attend church over the Christmas period but found a locked building and a cold notice advising of cancellation.

As I reflect on that first Christmas I wonder was it any better for Mary and Joseph wrestling with a government edict insisting they return to the family birthplace to be counted for tax purposes.v It's hard to imagine a whole empire on the move, millions of people on the move, little social distancing and no accommodation when arriving at journeys end. vTempers would surely be tested to the limit just as our have been during the week before Christmas.

But alas all of those travel stresses were quickly forgotten when the baby arrived heralded by a heavenly host of angels and the arrival of uninvited guests bringing gifts and good wishes.

And just like us, the Holy family moved from one stress incident to another as they quickly moved to Egypt to escape the retribution of King Herod. Determined to eliminate all the babies of two years and below lest a rival challenge to his kingship should arise. They had a confidence that God was in control and it kept Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus looking forward with hope.

That's what is required of us as 2022 looms closer. We have no choice because in the darkness of Corona Virus lockdown it is essential to have that hope because God is in the mix with us. It's the same hope that Mary and Joseph had while in exile. God will not abandon us. That might be a difficult concept for some of you to accept. But maybe those of us have that hope for the future in excess, have enough of it to share around with those who feel lost, alone or uncertain.

As we look forward to a new year, a more hopeful year, let me leave you with that great poem the Gate of the Year which hopefully summarises the best way forward into uncertainty.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year. "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" And he replied

"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be for you better than a light and safer than a known way.

I hope you will all experience a really blessed 2022 as we walk in the same challenging space. Walk with hope and you'll never walk alone.

God Bless

Rev'd. Don