Minister’s Letter –
Lorna and I are currently wading through our belongings as we imminently move house to Sidmouth. Although as indicated in previous correspondence I will still be working at the Mint until Easter in some capacity. The accumulation of “stuff” is not unusual, but bringing down items from the attic makes me realise that the
majority of accumulated clobber is nothing more than rubbish. The majority of it wouldn’t even have made the tables of a jumble sale, back in the day when jumble sales existed. As a result I have become very familiar with the staff of the charity shops and also the tip in recent weeks.

In amongst that which we are discarding there are some little gems that hold dear memories. This will be the first move that we have undertaken without children in tow, although musical instruments will remain in our charge for the moment. However to come across boxes of first outfits and first shoes brings back a flood of memories that far exceed the objects themselves. It made me think if I could only save what I could carry what would I pick up. We often use the scenario of a fire, but there are countless displaced people around the world that have had to discard all their belongings including their very home in the blink of an eye.

In reality I probably wouldn’t carry any possessions with me if disaster struck, as I would be more bothered about the people around me. Books, musical instruments, and golf clubs bring their own pleasure, but I can certainly do without them. Even keepsakes like the first pair of shoes, whilst they hold sentimental value they are nothing compared to the person. It is the interaction and journeying together with family and friends that has defined me, and continued to define me beyond the physical object.

As we embark on the new, the new home or the new year what might you hold on to. Perhaps even the memories of 2022 are in part made up of accumulated clobber interspersed with little gems. If you are like me, much of the last year has already been lost from the memory bank, but little gems remain. Moments in time that have shaped each of us by their uniqueness, or through the extravagant compassion and grace revealed. As we have been reminded this Christmastime, angels are God’s messengers, and we can each engage in that angelic work. I hope that 2023 will bring you moments to wonder, gems to remember, that irrespective of material
possessions or not, those accents of love will define the year ahead.