Rev David Warner column: Let there be light

In his first Reporter column of 2021, the Vicar of Mossley, Reverend David Warner, has some thought-provoking words for you in these tough times.

I wonder what your New Year resolutions were? Or perhaps you can’t even remember them by now! 

I don’t tend to make them, and this year that felt like a sensible decision - many of us have become very careful about too much advance planning because of the seemingly endless changes to restrictions.

2020 was a year many of us will be happy to forget and we’re into the swing of a different year and there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, in the shape of the various vaccines being made available. 

The effort to make these widely available will doubtless be challenging, and we need to remember that it’s an effort being made by the same NHS staff we clapped every week, still working under tremendous and increasing pressure, to treat everyone who needs them. 

We should be so very grateful for this astonishing service, that we so easily take for granted, which manages to do so much for every person in need of care.

We’re also thinking about our schools again as they try to return to work - our thanks go to our school staff, students and families for their care, hard work and efforts to keep these most vulnerable in our communities, safe, well and happy.

Let’s remember also the businesses which have been closed down, and those struggling to maintain operations through changing their working routines - each and every one of our local businesses and charities needs our support, in whatever way we can offer it through these days. 

The response to foodbank appeals before Christmas was overwhelming, and we need to continue to think carefully about what we can do to support the ongoing need in our communities.

Though many of us are suffering fatigue at the constant change and ever-growing need, we need to be there for others as they have been there for us.

In many New Year messages this year, a famous poem by Minnie Haskins has been used, and perhaps this year more than ever, we need the message of light in the present darkness. 

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 to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”

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