Letter from Rev Bladen

Happy New Year! Hopefully it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year.
But as I wish you a ‘Happy New Year’ my mind jumps to that quote from John Cleese (playing Basil Fawlty) in one of his episodes of Fawlty Towers, “Oh, happy. Yes, I remember that.”

It’s an interesting time to be talking about being happy when in many ways life is still quite tough for lots of people and many of us are tired and sad.

We would all like to be happy but happiness is often quite an elusive thing, we search for it, we hope for it, but often it seems just outside of our reach. So maybe instead of saying Happy New Year, perhaps I should instead wish you all a Hopeful New Year. Hope is something completely different from happiness but yet to be hopeful seems to bring with it the possibility of happiness and perhaps a glimpse of happiness into the future.

I believe there are signs of hope all around us that can lead us to begin to feel hopeful, if we only take time to notice them. There’s the sense of community spirit as people look after and care for each other, the vaccine is being rolled out, the numbers of those contracting coronavirus is slowly coming down, the days are drawing out… (it’s even light still at 5:00 o’clock now) and there are signs of spring in the countryside all around us. There are definitely signs of hope to be seen.

Hope, of course is also the message of Christmas that lives on long after our Christmas celebrations are finished. God didn’t send his son Jesus to just remain in a stable in Bethlehem, he sent his son to bring love and life, healing and hope into the whole world, past, present and future, and to bring hope into our lives and situations here and now too.

We are not alone.

The Bible is packed with verses on hope… not a hope that we have to conjure up in ourselves but a hope that comes to us every day, day after day, through the faithful love of Jesus… as we trust in Him. So I’m going to leave you with just two:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13


“…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

God Bless you to have a Hopeful New Year!