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28th December 2017

New Year message from the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson

Bishop Julian Henderson’s message

Looking back on the year we have just lived through, I wonder which events from 2017 might stay in your mind?

For me it’s what was going on in the country of Yemen. The terrible devastation of blockades in the Yemeni port to stop aid getting through to those who needed it most, coupled with the bombing campaigns.

Millions of people starving and without enough food to eat is a terrible and frightening story.

And there are more. Another recent example is in the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar having to flee their own country to escape persecution.

Of course, it’s events like those in Yemen and Myanmar which also put our lives here in the United Kingdom and in Lancashire into perspective.

While not everything is going to be perfect; things about which we might complain, and rightfully so, there is much to be grateful for and many blessings for which we should be thankful to God.

I remember that old, old song ‘Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One’. While we may have things to complain about, things that are not quite right and could be better, when compared with what many other people have in other parts of the world, we have so many blessings to be thankful for by comparison.

I know we will face difficulties in this new year of 2018 but let’s try and remember the bigger picture of what is going on in the rest of the world.

Doing that might actually help us to cope better with some of our local trials and difficulties by putting things into perspective.

At the same time, let’s also remember the bigger picture of God’s purpose and plan for the world.

Yes, there are trials now, but God has a great plan for the world and we look forward to the day when His kingdom comes.

From that day, there will be no more death, suffering or pain or any of the things that spoil God’s purposes in this world now. That is something for us to look forward to with joy and expectation.

I pray we may all have a healthy perspective on our lives now and in the future; and I wish you and your family a very happy new year.

And if, in 2018, you want to join us at one of our parish churches across Lancashire and you aren’t sure where to go, finding the nearest church that suits you and your family couldn’t be easier.

Just log on to the recently revamped website, which features parishes from across our Diocese here in Lancashire or (if you are away from home visiting friends and family at any point during the year) parishes from across the country.

Rt Rev Julian Henderson
Bishop of Blackburn