Happy New Year to each and every one of you! As we embark on this new year, I extend my heartfelt wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity to all, whether you are regular churchgoers or not.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who joined us at the church over the festive period. Your presence and prayers truly made this season special and brought a sense of community and shared joy to our celebrations.
A particular highlight for me was the Candlelit Carol Service, the first I've had the pleasure of participating in since 2017. The warmth and beauty of this service were deeply moving, and it's a tradition we're excited to continue next Christmas.
Last year also marked the re-start of Hope4All, an informal service designed for people of all ages. It's been wonderful to see how this service has brought people together, fostering a sense of community and openness where no question is too small or too silly. Hope4All, along with our 11:00 service, is a space where we can explore our faith and spirituality in a supportive and welcoming environment.
Recent research from the Church of England indicates a shift in how people relate to Christianity. While fewer people might identify as Christian in the traditional sense, many express a spiritual curiosity and a desire to explore life's deeper questions. At Hope4All, and in our regular services, we embrace this journey of exploration, understanding that the path of faith is as much about questions as it is about answers.
This Christmas, we revisited the story of Christ's birth, a narrative rich in tradition and symbolism. It's a story that can sometimes feel more like a myth, but at its heart, it carries a profound and universal truth: the incarnation of God as a human. This mystery, that the Creator became a part of creation as a helpless infant, is something that continues to inspire and challenge us.
As we've celebrated the birth of Jesus, let us now, in the months ahead, seek a deeper understanding of Jesus the Man, who is also God. Let’s delve into his life, teachings, and the mystery of his divinity, as we journey together in faith and community.
Wishing you a blessed and fulfilling year ahead.
Fr. Paul Wheeler | Rector of Hope
Borderlands Mission Area
The Rectory, Kiln Lane, Hope LL12 9PH
Tel: 01978 502594
Fr. Paul Wheeler