Dear One and All,

We are living in extraordinary times. In many respects we are in lockdown and I suspect many of you are anxious about how things will turn out. Faced with an invisible menace it plays on our deepest fears. We are concerned for family and friends, for our way of life and how those magnificent folk in the NHS will cope with what is to come.

This morning I shall be reading Isa:7:10-14, Heb.10:4-10. Lk 1:26-38. It is the celebration of the Annuniciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A hymn to read or sing: Tell out my soul 186StF.

The words which struck home to me were 'Do not be afraid' (Lk.1:30) I wonder over the years how often countless numbers of men, women, boys and girls, young and old have contemplated those words. At times of difficulty, calamity, tragedy and despair how those words have spoken into the hearts of those who were fearful, exhausted or despairing. The words of comfort are set in the context of the 'The Lord is with you' (Lk.1:28) So too for us now, 'the Lord is with you' is a reality and as a consequence, our fears  and anxiety are embraced by that overwhelming truth.

Our faith may be sorely tested in the weeks and months to come. I pray in those times of our deepest need that the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ and the love of God will grant us peace, grace and the strength to endure.

Every blessing,

Revd Simon H Leigh.
Superintendent minister.