Dear friends,
Cross-country running was never my forte. One of the low points in my school career was an
annual compulsory five-mile run. The senior prefects had stout walking sticks which they
used enthusiastically to make any laggards run faster. Since I was usually huffing and puffing
at the back, I tended to be one of their victims. However, it was the revolutionary 1960s,
and change was in the air. On the final run that I took part in, as a particularly unpleasant
prefect was viciously smiting the legs of those of us at the back, we suddenly all turned
round to face him. Someone grabbed his stick and broke it in half, and the bully was soon
beating a hasty retreat. The rest of us then ambled contentedly towards the finishing line.

‘Let us run with patience the race that is set before us’ says the author of the Letter to the
Hebrews. Although there are occasions when patience may wear thin or run out altogether
(as in the reminiscence above), there are other times when it becomes extremely important,
as at present. Whatever the limitations and inconveniences of the lockdown, it now appears
that we really are approaching the home straight. ‘The darkest hour is just before dawn’
may seem a rather overused cliché, but it happens to be true at the moment. So, we keep
going patiently, knowing that the dawn will come, and the vaccine will reach us before long.

In the meantime, although Christ Church is closed for services, we still hold funerals (within
strict limits). Kristie and I are taking the funeral of Mrs Joan Clarke in Christ Church today,
which is why Delyth is kindly celebrating the mid-week Zoom Eucharist. We have been
saddened to hear of the death of Mrs Rosalie Thomas and her husband Steffan. Rosalie was
a dear and faithful member of the delightful group of ladies who always sit near the back of
Christ Church on Sunday mornings. We shall miss her, and our sympathy goes out to her
family and friends in their double bereavement.

SERVICES (all on Zoom): Wednesday 13 January (St ILAR’S DAY) 10.30am ZOOM EUCHARIST
(p.287); Sunday 17 January (EPIPHANY 2) 9am ZOOM EUCHARIST (p. 53); 5pm ZOOM EVENSONG;
Wednesday 20 January 10.30am ZOOM EUCHARIST (p.53); Sunday 24 January (CONVERSION OF ST
(t.232); Wednesday 27 January (St GREGORY of NAREK’S DAY) 10.30am ZOOM EUCHARIST (p.285).
I shall be having a much-needed break (my first since last February) from January 19 th to February
1 st . As always, there is plenty of reading and writing that I’m hoping to do, though Helen also has a
long list of useful chores for me to carry out – mostly getting rid of things in preparation for my
retirement later this year. I have a dustbin mind and a chaotic study. Helen (whom I love dearly)
has a filing-cabinet mind and a minimalist approach to things. They say opposites attract, but how
she’s put up with me for so long, I don’t know (though I’m very glad that she has). Canon Patrick

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