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National Chaplains Christmas Message 2022

Please find below a Christmas message from our National Chaplain Fr Barry Lomax.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas may I also echo his good wishes for both Christmas and the new year on behalf of The Catholic Police Guild.

Please remember in your prayers also those spending Christmas alone, those who are sick and those for whom this Christmas is the first without a loved one.

To those working over Christmas please stay safe and hopefully you will get time to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

Paul Connolly

"One of my favourite carols, sadly not often sung even at this time of the year, is “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” and with everything that’s going on in the world today both domestically and abroad; inflation at its highest level in years, the ever-increasing cost of fuel, industrial unrest and strikes and the continuing war in Ukraine, we certainly seem to be facing a “bleak mid-winter”.

Sometimes, although names and faces may change, the difficulties faced by the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us, remain the same. It is at such times as these, and especially at Christmas, that we reflect on a story now over 2,000 years old. It is a story that most, if not all children, know very well. So well, that even the names, places, circumstances, and other small part characters of the narrative involved, are equally familiar. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, a stable in the town of Bethlehem, the Shepherds, the three Wisemen, and Herod, the evil King. All in their own unique way play their part in telling the story of the Incarnation and how, in the words of Sir John Betjemans' poem “Christmas” “God is man in Palestine and lives today in bread and wine.”.

But God of course, is not confined simply within the elements of the Mass, he is found in the most unlikely places too, often the places we choose or dare not look. In the shop doorways of our busy bustling towns and cities. Behind the neglected windows shrouded in net and lace of the forgotten elderly, in the highrise flat where the single parent struggles over the decision whether to eat or heat. Here God dwells too, as another Christmas for the broken and forgotten, becomes just a time of distant memories and yet another day to simply get through as best they can. We may not always have the answers to solve the poverty and unstable realty of far too many of our brothers and sisters; but a kind word, a smile instead of a frown and a simple acknowledgement of their humanity; a look that doesn’t suggest they are aliens who dare to speak to us, but they are fellow pilgrims fallen on difficult times.

Perhaps a glimmer of an answer is found in the very last verse of the carol itself “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”: “What can I give him poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise man I would do my part, yet what I can I give him: give my heart”.

On behalf of the Catholic Police Guild of England & Wales, I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas and Peaceful New Year."

Fr. Barry Lomax, The National Chaplain.

December 2022

Photo courtesy of Fr. Barry Lomax from his parish church.


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