Well Good Morning and a very Happy Christmas to you all.
This is a recorded thought. Vicars are in demand on Christmas morning. Later on a member of my lovely Trendlewood congregation in Nailsea will taunt me. 'It must be hard for you to have to work on a Thursday' he will say.
After I have finished my duties today, cooked the family lunch and had a bit of a sleep, I may finally get round to reading some cards and newsletters from friends.
One terribly sad thing happens around this time of year. One of our early cards is addressed to Mrs J. Armstrong (I've changed the names).
It is always signed:
To Julie and Rob and girls
From Jim, Tricia and girls
There is no sender's address.
We have lived in our house for over eight years. The previous occupants, one of whom was Julie, left no forwarding address. I was led to believe that the relationship ended in separation and certainly, just before the house was purchased, there were more than just daughters living here, suggesting that a new family had begun and two sets of children were merging. Mail arrives for people with two different surnames.
So, the senders have not heard from their friends for eight years, don't know they've separated, formed new relationships and moved, yet continue to send a quick card (early, to get it done with). They add no address, no news and no clues.
I wonder how many times this story is repeated around the country.
And I ask myself. Are we really keeping in touch with each other's lives? As you read your cards this year spare a thought, and maybe a prayer, for the senders.