Thought for the Month - Holy Trinity, Prestwood

DH-1 A thought for the month by our Rector, Deiniol.

We are in a time of great upheaval this year as we approach the Christmas Season, as we deal with a General Election in December, and the inevitable 'next round' of Brexit negotiations, whatever the result of the election will be.

We may also be facing upheaval in our own lives. You will know where the pressures you face are. Christmas time may bring some relief from those pressures, but may also increase them. Our mental health is now, at least, a subject that we feel much happier to discuss openly. Thank goodness for those public figures and celebrities who have helped to make that happen, alongside so many people who have had the courage to share their own stories and admit their own needs more openly than in the past.

But sharing the story and having the confidence to speak out are only the start of the solution. Mental health services in this country are seriously underfunded. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, the provision that people need is lacking. As a society a vast amount of money and creativity is poured into industries that we know damage our mental health. The epidemic of poor mental health is not caused by ‘snowflakes’ or people with too much time on their hands—it is caused by the modern world we have created for ourselves, and the vast amount of money that flows into social media, advertising and other industries where a culture of discontent must be fostered to secure our attention and our money. This is in itself a great upheaval in our society and our lives. It was not ever thus. Yet I have heard very little from any of our politicians on this topic, and, whoever wins our election, we should not be surprised if mental health services continue to be run down, marginalised and reform kicked into the long grass. This should be a national scandal, given the resources that are put into making the problems worse!

Perhaps Christmas is at least a good time to be conscious of that sense of great upheaval that life can bring. The Nativity starts the greatest upheaval the world has ever seen--the entry of God into his creation, bursting into the world as... well, as a tiny, small and vulnerable baby. Forget about the stable and the crib. The real surprise is the baby itself. God made manifest in something so small and delicate and vulnerable. We may not worship in the world's largest churches. We may live in small and some might say insignificant towns and villages. (Anyone paying attention to the interminable HS2 process knows we are very small fry in their grand schemes.) But Jesus does not overlook us. He turns the world upside down in order to reconcile us to himself, and to show us just how much we are loved. That is a message that anyone afflicted by great upheaval in their lives can hold on to, and, I hope, make their own this Christmas.

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

Holy Trinity, Prestwood is an Inclusive Church. We are part of the Church of England.
We are in the Oxford diocese and the Wendover Deanery.

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