Rector’s Letter – 30th January 2021

Dear Members of St Mary’s,

As someone who grew up on the coast in Wales where it is very unusual to have snow, I get excited when the weather turns wintry. I still miss the fun we had sledging, throwing snowballs and building snowmen when the children were little. I know that I will feel sad when the snow disappears but at this time of year it can also be exciting to see what has been growing under that white carpet. In the church grounds, the snowdrops are starting to appear and other spring flowers are putting up green shoots. Isn’t it amazing how these small plants are able to push their way through the frozen soil. All through the autumn and winter months they have been waiting underground in the dark, their roots reaching out into the soil to fill the bulbs with nutrients to give them the energy to grow the shoots that reach up towards the light. And now that Spring is just round the corner, here they are again, ready to produce their flowers. Many of you are having to wait in your homes until things get better. It’s not always easy, but like the spring flowers, we can make the most of it, allow God’s love to work within us and become a blessing for others.

Next Tuesday, 2nd February is Candlemas, an ancient festival marking the first day of Spring. It was a day when people brought the candles they would be using in their homes for the year to the church to be blessed. The story we read from the Bible on that day tells of Mary and Joseph taking the child Jesus to Jerusalem. In the temple that day were two elderly people who had been waiting all their lives for God to send a special person to bring the light of love into the world. Simeon recognised Jesus in the crowd and started praising God whilst Anna danced with joy. How did they know that this ordinary little baby with his ordinary mum and dad was the one promised by God? Luke’s Gospel doesn’t tell us but we know that every day for many, many years, these two had come to the temple to worship God and to pray.

We know that regular worship and prayer transforms us. In the words of one participant in our Exploring Worship sessions, when we worship and pray regularly, God’s love works away in us shaping us from the inside. I hope that you will manage to continue to meet with God during this second Lockdown. The Ministry Team will be sending out weekly Materials for Worship and also the occasional video with readings, reflections, prayers and songs. The livestreaming of services will resume once public services are allowed once more. In the meantime, here is some information about a number of online activities planned for the weeks ahead,

Young Church Candlemas Online Celebration, Tuesday 2nd February at 5 p.m.

Young Church Virtual Pancake Party, Tuesday 16th February at 5 p.m.
Please spread the word among young families you know. Contact Liz on events @

Men’s Group Zoom Meeting, Saturday 13th February at 11 a.m. Contact Martin on mensgroup @ for more information

Ecumenical Lent Groups, ‘Opening the Scriptures: Setting our Hearts on Fire’. For more information and to register interest, contact Anthony on lentgroups @

Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. You’ll be delighted to hear that my mother and father-in-law both received their first vaccinations on Saturday, the one in Aberystwyth and the other in Aboyne. What a coincidence!

I will continue to pray for you and look forward to seeing you back in church.

With love,