We trust you had a blessed time. We were particularly pleased to hear the Queen close her Christmas Day broadcast with such a clear emphasis upon Jesus, for instance:
”…Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive…”
Click here for the full transcript of the Queen’s speech.
The political blogger ‘His Grace Archbishop Cranmer’ concluded his posting of Tues 27 December on Christmas messages as follows:
“There was only one Church leader who spoke inspirationally of courage and hope; only one who used the occasion to speak of the importance of family, friends and the indomitable human spirit. Only one who spoke of the gospel of forgiveness, the uniqueness of Jesus the Saviour, the love of God through Christ our Lord:..”
I particularly took note that both the political head of our nation, PM Cameron, and Head of State and Head of Anglican Church, Her Royal Majesty, have now strongly spoken out in public declarations concerning our nation’s true source of spiritual stability. Could we have turned a corner? Maybe Christen Forster of River Church, Maidenhead, was correct in reporting last September,
…at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, Bill Johnson prophetically declared to 1,000 leaders from Church, Culture, Commerce, Community and Civic Government that we would look back at 1st Sept 2011 as, “The day things changed in the UK”.
Personally, on Christmas morn I was blessed to see our recording of the broadcast I recommended, Carols From Bucklebury, bring strong messages from each interviewee/ reader. (See brief disocesan report.) Only a few weeks previously I’d visited my ‘best-man’ and farm manager John Bishop, and was introduced to Bradfield CoE Primary School’s head Andy How when John took me there on a brief visit as school governor. John told me the broadcast was recorded by a Christian media organisation that’s part of the Rank Foundation. (From CTVC – Our History I read that J Arthur Rank, now Lord Rank, has been involved with Christian media since 1930s.)
Whilst living west of Reading prior to our marriage, I’d attended a number of Christmas services in Rushall Manor Farm’s barn. Its Christingle events are always solidly packed by a couple of hundred folk. This time, however, John used the larger cattle shed because it could better house the 1000 strong congregation!! Ah well, perhaps this is another indicator of changes happening in Britain? Bradfield village has had a Christian presence since Saxon times – maybe this ancient well is now getting unblocked?
May you all have a wonderful New Year
Richard & Nina