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Old traditions can also help shape our futures





The Reverend Patrick Taylor and, left, the horrific scenes we have witnessed from Aleppo in Syria this year.
The Reverend Patrick Taylor and, left, the horrific scenes we have witnessed from Aleppo in Syria this year.

The Reverend Patrick Taylor, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Stratford, with All Saints’ in Luddington and St Helen’s in Clifford Chambers, writes for the Herald...

SOMETHING that has stayed with me this year was an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain back in January of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He was there to talk about teaching primary school children to save money.

But as Piers Morgan wound the interview up and prepared to move onto the next item, an extraordinary thing happened: his co-presenter Susanna Reid chipped in, clearly off script, and said: “I want to just quickly ask you, is your belief in God unshakeable?”

The Archbishop replied: “God holds onto me even when I’m trying to get away, so yes it is, because God holds onto me much tighter than I hold onto him.”

There have been world-changing events since that interview, including Brexit and the election of Donald Trump [as US president].

The terrible violence in Syria, pictured right, and elsewhere still goes on. Yet in all of this, and in whatever has happened in your life over the past year, God continues to hold onto us, even when we let go of God.

Christmas is a time when many of us look back and recall past Christmases, especially those of our childhood.

A recent academic study, based on the experiences of people attending our Christmas carol service at Holy Trinity last year, concluded that this nostalgia can be a positive thing, allowing us to reconnect with a sense of who we are, and perhaps even the meaning and purpose of our life as another year draws to a close.

When we gather together with others and revive old traditions in the familiar surroundings of a family home or our local church our sense of who we are is renewed and we are able to reflect on what we might do next.

The God who loves us will always hold onto us. A very happy Christmas to you all.



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