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Viewpoint from Rev Canon Simon Ward 06/01/2022

SIMON WARD 12-2018

Rev Canon Simon Ward
Team Rector, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry, and Rural Dean


Maybe you had some visitors over the festive season. Maybe you were a visitor over the festive season. As a child, I always remember that excitement of waiting for the visitor to arrive, whether that was my grandmother or aunt. There was always something lovely about the filling up of the house. Once all were safely gathered in it felt like the party could start
Today is the 6th of January and the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. It is the day when we mark the arrival of the wise men who travel a great distance to come and kneel before the infant Jesus. They are the famed visitors from far off lands. 6th January is the date to mark the end of the season of Christmas. We have had 12 days of Christmas to feast and to celebrate, although maybe you have not had visitors for the whole of that time. Tonight also, 12th night: the night you should be taking down your Christmas decorations if you have not already done so. The important part of remembering that is recalling the length of celebration of Christmas and we must not be too hasty to put away the good news
dove leftThe welcoming of visitors and the dispensing of hospitality has always been considered a Christian virtue. Churches and cathedrals were the places where visitors were welcomed and where people gathered. I recall years ago I went to visit a convent and it was my first time there. I did not know my way around. However, as I entered the Reverend Mother took me by the hand and guided me, showing me where things were and introducing me to other members of the community. All the while she held my hand. There may be something about that which sounds a bit awkward, but I assure you it was not. It was just a warm and genuine welcome. All of us have had that moment when we are the visitor, entering someone else’s house or someone else’s domain. We must remember how important it is to welcome
A wonderful New Year resolution would be for us all to be mindful of our welcome. Who are the people we can warm with a smile or a kindly spoken word? Who are the people who feel left out and pushed to the side and need to be included and welcomed?

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