Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Hogmanay Celebration

When I first came to St Cuthbert's as Minister in 2008, I was somewhat taken aback to discover that the church had an annual Hogmanay Service. Seeing in New Year was something that I had been used to doing with friends around a meal or in a party. Why were these people trying to spoil my fun and add yet another service to the busy schedule (although the involvement of the Minister was not necessarily burdensome as several others planned and participated).

Then I helped plan for, lead and (naturally) I attended the service in 2008 over to 2009 and I was hugely impressed by the numbers present, inspired by the creative talents of those who assisted in planning and leading, and entirely convinced that this was not simply worthwhile - it was an essential part of both our congregational family's life and (perhaps even more) of the service we offer to the wider community (who far outnumbered congregational members).

Of course, attendance at St C's that evening also affords a key (and free!) vantage point for the New Year fireworks! (But I would not be so cynical as to imagine that this explains the attendance numbers!)

Rather, the service - for me - offers the opportunity to reflect on the past and give thanks to God for all that was good and leave with him the hurts, regrets, failures and problems of what has been.

Then we can move on in prayer to seek his blessing and direction for what has yet to be.

Much to my surprise, I found the whole experience deeply meaningful and very significant.

If you are around, then come along! (Whether on foot or by car, tell the guys manning the barriers that you are going to St Cuthbert's for the service. They'll let you in).

Service starts at 11.15pm and ends at 11.55 to allow time to see the fireworks.