A Christmas message from the Dean

23 December 2021
"The pandemic has taught us that we should never take life for granted, we should cherish it as a gift and cherish the people around us." Read more of the Dean of Norwich's message for Christmas below.
Crib Scene
I've just come past a billboard with the message, “This Christmas you really can go to town”. Up until a few weeks ago all the advertising was encouraging everyone to think that this Christmas we’d be able to party and let our hair down ~ back to a normal Christmas.

Yet, here we are again, with Covid cases rising by the day, with messages from the scientists to be very cautious, with continuing worries about the ability of the NHS to cope and with those working in hospitality and retail wondering if their businesses can survive.

For every single one of us, at the moment life is full of uncertainties ~ should we mix with others, will we catch the virus and not be able to be with loved ones for Christmas, will we all be locked down again in the new year.

Yet despite all this, if we look back over 2021, things haven’t by any means been all negative. As we came out of the lockdown in the summer, I think we all came to really appreciate things we had previously taken for granted. Being able to attend life events such as weddings, funerals and baptisms, once again; being able to gather in larger groups for musical, sporting and theatrical events; and at the Cathedral, being able to visit Dippy and spend time relaxing over a picnic with family and friends.

The pandemic has taught us that we should never take life for granted, we should cherish it as a gift and cherish the people around us. We still have lessons to learn though ~ lessons about caring more for people in other parts of our world who are less fortunate than us, lessons about putting right the inequalities in our own society, lessons about cherishing the beautiful world entrusted to our care.

As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us pause to think about why God chose to come into our world as a vulnerable baby. He came to show us just how much he loves us and our world and to show us how to love each other. However uncertain life may seem just at this moment, of one thing you can be certain ~ God loves you!

A blessed and peaceful Christmas to you all.

The Dean of Norwich
The Very Revd Jane Hedges

For more information about Norwich Cathedral's Christmas events and services click here.

Picture: Bill Smith