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Did you ‘ring in the new year’? I’m not sure where the phrase comes from, but it was made famous by Tennyson’s poem, In Memoriam:

    “Ring out the old, ring in the new, ring, happy bells, across the snow:

    the year is going, let him go; ring out the false, ring in the true.”  

   Perhaps like many, you were more than ready for the end of 2020, having been such    a challenging year for numerous reasons, including, of course COVID.

   But how we marked the dawning of 2021 was rather different.

For the past 10+ years, Paul and I’ve spent New Year with my parents in Somerset. Axbridge is a charming medieval town: a town due to a royal charter dated 1202, yet with a population of 2000, it’s a very small one! It boasts beautiful buildings and a lovely town square. For many years, the New Year tradition is that at about 11.45pm folks pour into the square, gathering from whatever they’ve been doing: some in formal black tie, others falling out of the pubs!

All gather awaiting the countdown. At midnight the clock on the stunning medieval church strikes 12, and campanologists waiting in the tower, ring a wonderful peel. People shout, cheer, pop corks, share drinks, hugs and kisses with partners, family, neighbours, friends and strangers! In recent years this has been accompanied by fantastic fireworks from the Lamb Inn’s garden. It’s a wonderful community celebration and literal ringing out of the old year, and in of the new.

For the first time in years, we weren’t in Axbridge. Yet this dawning of a new year remains a key milestone; an opportunity to reflect on both the tough times, and giving thanks for the great moments; and to look forward to 2021 with hope. At its heart, the Christian faith is all about hope: hope for 2021 and beyond; hope for ever ~ for eternity. The world, our nation, Perton, and each of us, as we begin 2021, crave hope. Why not explore the spiritual hope freely offered in the Christian faith? I’d love to help you do that, please do get in touch: / 01902 750232. May you know hope in 2021.

Rev'd Julia

Jan 2021

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