Message from your Rector

January always seems to be a very long month doesn’t it and I’m always pleased when I can turn the calendar over for February – which of course is the shortest month of the year.
It’s the only month that, apart from leap years, has an even number of days and the old poem by Sara Coleridge tells us that,
‘February brings the rain
thaws the frozen lakes again…..’
It is a month that doesn’t often have a full moon but 2018 is an exception.
In the church we celebrate Candlemas in February – this year on February 2nd. We remember Mary and Joseph taking their small son to the Temple as part of the Jewish ritual. There they met two elderly people, Simeon and Anna. Each of them had been hoping to see the Messiah arrive in their lifetime and incredibly, among the large number of babies being brought for a blessing to the Temple, they recognised Jesus as the one who had been promised.
This is why we see Candlemas as a time of hope. It is a Festival of Light after the dark days of December and January.
Candlemas is the mid part of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox.
Snowdrops used to be know as Candlemas Bells – probably because they are the brave little flowers which have made an appearance by the beginning of February, whatever the weather and even if they have to push their way through the snow.
So, as the days start to lengthen, I bring you a message of hope for February.
There is a story of a rabbi who asked his students to determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins.
One student suggested it was when, from a distance, you could distinguish between a dog and a sheep.
‘No’, said the rabbi.
Another student said perhaps it was when you could distinguish between a fig tree and a grape vine.
‘No’, said the rabbi.
Please tell us the answer, said the students.
‘It is’, said the wise teacher, ‘when you have enough light to look human beings in the face and recognise them as your brothers and sisters. Until then the darkness is still with you.’
Rev Kathryn
01785 284050

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