title="Baldons Parish Council in Oxfordshire">

From The Vicar December 2020

From Reverend Teresa Stewart-Sykes


During this second lockdown, my husband Jon and I have been binge watching the Vicar of Dibley! My goodness what a tonic it has been, making us laugh out loud and helping us to forget for a moment the dark evenings and the latest gloom and doom on the news. Last week we watched the Christmas special in which Alice Tinker, dressed up as the Virgin Mary, gives birth to her first baby during the parish nativity service! Hilarious!


This year we are all trying to find things to amuse ourselves, to lift our mood and to distract us from the reality of the pandemic and how we will be able to celebrate Christmas. As human beings we are hardwired to find solutions, we change the way we do things in order to improve our situation, and we work together because we are inherently social creatures. This is how we are all coping with preparing for Christmas and everything else as we continue to live with COVID; we are being ourselves, doing what comes naturally and living in hope!


Many religions and world faiths echo this natural human instinct towards hopefulness. In November Hindus celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. In December the Jewish festival of Hannukah is kept and the story of the miracle that happened during a time of Jewish persecution, where just a day's supply of oil allowed the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days, is remembered. For Christians the seasons of Advent and Christmas reflect on the coming of God among us in the person of the child Jesus, the mystery of the incarnation, God made flesh; and this gives us hope that a better future is around the corner, because God is living amongst us and working in us to bring all things to fulfilment.


Human beings need to hope as badly as they need food and oxygen. God has created within each of us this hardwired intuition for hope, a hope that is realised in the birth of Jesus. My prayer for myself and for you all this Christmas and New Year is that we will live with hope in hearts and enjoy all the festive season has to offer us.


I will end as the Vicar of Dibley always ends with a joke, “Two nuns are driving through Transylvania when a great big vampire jumps on the bonnet. One nun says to the other ‘show him your cross’. So the nun opens the window and yells: ‘get off my bonnet you toothy git!'”