Minsters letter for December 2009

As we go to press, our minds are full with the stories of the people who have survived the floods at Cumbria. It is very sad that there has been loss of life and the damage to the infra structure of that part of Britain will take years to replace. If that amount of rain had fallen in most other countries of the world, it would have killed many more, washing away entire communities. I would like to think that these last few days have been something of a miracle. We must also pay tribute to the hard work done by local authorities and community builders who have constructed such robust communities of both buildings and people.

The best evidence of a strong community is how they help each other when they are in need. That is why at our Christingle service we will be supporting the Children's Society that looks after desperate youngsters in the UK. We will also be taking part in the Blue Peter appeal for T-Shirts and have set ourselves the target of 150 of these to help those people in India who need them. Finally, we will be collecting money to send to the Cumbria relief fund to support the people there.

In Bury St Edmunds in general and Moreton Hall, in particular we have so much to give thanks for this Christmas time. It is right to remember that our Father God gives every good thing we have. So join with us for the Mayors Carol service, the Nativity service and all our special Christmas here and in our Christmas card.

At the centre of the Christmas story, we realise that God gave Himself to the world in Jesus. He did not come as a victorious general or an all-powerful politician. He came as a baby needing our help and protection. Perhaps that is a very important message for us all this year, that by caring for the frail, the vulnerable and those in need we will be accepting Christ into our midst.

If we can look up in the midst of our difficulties and realise how lucky we are in comparison to so many, and how God has blessed and helped us, and then do our part to help them, the Christmas story will become even more real to us. At the first Christmas, those who welcomed Jesus, Mary and Joseph at their time of hardship and difficulty received the greatest blessing of all. We are supporting the appeal for Tayfen House, for there will be many who have no roof over their head even here in Bury St. Edmunds.

Even if you are not in a position to help in any of these appeals directly or by a gift of money, please nonetheless take time to pray for those who are doing something and for those who received their gifts. I am sure that as you stop, pause, reflect and pray, the presence of God will become more real to you now and forevermore.