Reflections from the Chair - December

7th December 2020

Watch this reflection here:



O come, O come, thou living word,

And pierce our hearts with healing sword,

From God’s own mouth proceeding far

To Lance the fest’ring wounds of war.

Rejoice! Rejoice!  To mend our strife

shall come in flesh the God of life


‘I wouldn’t have got through Covid if it hadn’t been for the chaplains.’  Those words were said to me recently by a Ward Sister.  In the same hospital a consultant said that ‘The chaplaincy gift of time and listening is as essential as sterile conditions in an operating theatre.’

It is exactly the same in schools and colleges.


A school chaplain recently began a staff meeting with words from Ecclesiastes, ‘Desolation, desolation, all is desolation.’  It as a courageous way to start a staff meeting; but in tough, challenging, fearful times he articulated the feelings of the staff and headteacher in a way that no one else had quite been brave enough to do.  The feedback has been astonishing.


As chaplains, in these times of change and challenge, fear and isolation, we create safe spaces for the tears to flow.  Sometimes those tears are ours.  So this Christmas, or at the very least after Christmas, please make time to be kind to yourself.


Yet we are not alone and we are not the first.  Speaking to the people of God in desolation and exile, Isaiah says, ‘Comfort, O comfort my people’ and then reminds us that even in the wilderness there will be a way of the Lord, in the desert a highway for our God.


We are people of hope amidst times of change and challenge.  This Christmas and indeed at all times, we point to God amongst us, Emmanuel, and celebrate his love.


I close with another verse from Jim Cotter’s book, ‘Expectant, Verses for Advent’.


O come, O come, thou wisdom strange

From deep within God’s womb to range

The earth at midnight’s hour of fears

To make us wise beyond our years.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Our God shall leap

with light that rouses us from sleep.


Watch this reflection here:




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