A Winter Warmer

Winter warmth

Each day I wonder how much longer this glorious weather will continue. I like to

think it will last forever. If I wake up to a grey sky, I’m disappointed. Each day I

expect to wear shorts, eat outside and use sun cream. I know it’s unrealistic,

but I don’t want it to stop! I love summers like these.

I think we all hope the good times will last for ever. In truth, we know life is not

all sunshine; it can be grey, wet, and miserable. We cannot pretend that darker

days are not ahead. Indeed, with the cost-of-living crisis and the hike in energy

prices just around the corner, we know that for many people, the days could

become very grey and cold.

We need to prepare for the winter and do whatever we can to support people in

our community. It needn’t be complicated. In recent years public libraries have

evolved into vital hubs for people in their locality. As well as providing books,

journals, computers, reference and music libraries they often host social

activities. Just a Cuppa drop-in, Children’s Games Club, Scrabble Club,

Bounce and Rhyme, and a Job club are just a few of the activities hosted by

King’s Lynn Library. For many people the library has become an important

destination. It is warm, welcoming and interesting. It is a place where lonely

people can socialise, and new friendships can be made. The best libraries

evolved in this way because the staff listened to people in their community and

responded with imagination and enthusiasm.

I wonder whether this winter some of our churches or church halls could be

used in similarly imaginative ways. That is not to say that we should replicate

what is done elsewhere but simply be willing to open our spaces and listen to

the people in our community. Recently people have started talking about the

need for drop-ins that simply offer warmth and light - a warm welcome and a

warm drink in a warm place. If we are facing a winter that is darker and colder

than ever, surely the church can offer warmth and light?

Jesus taught his disciples that they should share their light. His words seem

just as relevant today as they did 2000 years ago.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither

do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand,

and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine

before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in