I wonder what might be your overriding sense of 2020? It has been a year unlike any other we have known in peacetime. Locally, nationally and globally, we are marked by the impact of Covid 19 and the measures imposed to try and curtail the pandemic.
For some, 2020 has been devastating, with loss of life, loss of loved ones, loss of livelihoods, and even loss of hope. Yet, through uncertainty and sadness, we have also witnessed the triumph of kindness, in great and little things alike. Our NHS and caring professions, our emergency services, our food and utility providers, to name just some, have ensured support in essential ways. To all those who have sustained the life of our communities, we extend an enormous ‘thank you.’
Despite the challenges, the past year has brought forth so many remarkable examples of the very best in our humanity, and not least from within our Catholic community. Our parishes and schools have served with distinction, something we can rightly be proud of.
Even in restricted circumstances, Christmas 2020 recalls again the great kindness God has shown humanity in Christ. A Saviour is born for us, for you and me. God’s loving kindness placed a foot on our planet in person, through the tiny imprint of the baby of Bethlehem. Forevermore, we share news of great joy, a joy of God’s love for every person, and for the whole world. God is with us. We are never alone.
May the Christmas gift of God’s kindly love fill your heart as we step forward with hope in Christ. May God bless you, and those you love, this festive season and throughout the coming New Year.
+ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark