Vicar Carol writes,


Early in December Peter and I had a new addition to our extended family.  Our third great nephew came into the world which means we now have 3 great nephews and 2 great nieces.


Before our great nephew arrived, as is usually the case, there was much discussion about names.  His big brother Jake aged 6 announced he wanted to call him Gilbert.  His Mum said that she wasn’t sure what she would like to call him but she was sure it wouldn’t be Gilbert!  (No offence intended to any Gilbert’s who might be reading this article.)  So until the new baby did arrived he was affectionately referred to by family members as ‘Gilbert’ until his real name was announced soon after he was born.  His name is Owen which, according to one internet source, means ‘young warrior’.


In the church, with all the celebrations around Christmas and New Year, we often miss a significant date in the church calendar.  The 1st of January is a festival day which celebrates the naming and circumcision of Jesus.  In the bible there are a few different names for Jesus all of which have very significant meanings.  Here are some of them.


Jesus – God saves or Saviour.

Christ – Anointed one.

Emmanuel – God with us.


Then there are other titles such as the Light of the World, the Prince of Peace, the Bread of Life, Wonderful Counsellor and the Lamb of God. All these titles tell us something incredible about the person who we worship and serve.  Jesus.  His name can bring peace and power.  His name reveals him as Lord and the bringer of hope.    


St Paul in his letter to the Philippian’s says this.


Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NRSV)


The beginning of a New Year for some is a time full of promise and expectation, for making plans and looking ahead.  For others it is a time that brings anxiety as they look ahead to an uncertain future.  Whatever we face, Jesus, the name above all names, is our constant companion and guide.  Praise to you, Lord Jesus.


Wishing you a joy-filled and peace-filled New Year,




The Gate of the Year


And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown!"

And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."


So, I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.  And He led me toward the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.


So, heart, be still!

What need our little life,

Our human life, to know,

If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife

Of things both high and low

God hideth His intention.


By Minnie Louise Haskins 1876 – 1957.  (This poem was quoted by King George 6th at Christmas 1939.)