26 Dec 2017


On Christmas Eve I presided at a ‘midnight mass’ at the Pro-Cathedral of Holy Trinity Brussels. Actually it was at 10:00p.m. to allow people to get home by public transport. It was the 5th and last service of the day at Holy Trinity. Many hundreds of people had come to the church over the course of Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day, I was preaching at a morning family communion service. I was delighted to see lots of new faces, in particular many people from the Indian sub-continent.

I was reminded again of just how many people attend our churches over Christmas. ‘Have we met before, maybe last year?’ I tentatively remarked to one lady. ‘Yes’, she said. ‘I come here regularly. Every year actually.’ For many people, Christmas is indeed their annual visit to Church. It is our annual opportunity to demonstrate that the Christian gospel isn’t just part of our cultural heritage but a living message for today. I am so impressed that our churches manage to offer a warm welcome, good music and quality worship often on very reduced numbers of ‘volunteers’. Well done to all!

After Christmas, both Bishop David and I are spending time with our respective families. In international ministry this family time is indeed precious. I hope all our clergy are taking proper opportunity to recover from what can be an extremely demanding period for them. May the good news of the birth of Jesus bring joy and happiness to our hearts, our homes, our families and our friends at this Christmas time.