Dear friends, visitors and citizens of Belper,
Is it just me or does time accelerate as one gets older? As a child eagerly awaiting Christmas morning, two days before the event I recall staring at the clock and the ticking being tantalisingly slow. Looking at the last 365 days, it now feels as though the clock is being driven by Lewis Hamilton.
One of my deepest impressions of 2016 is the way that so many people in our locality sincerely care about their fellow townspeople and very movingly help and act to aid others who may be less fortunate than themselves.
My grandmother had told me as a child, “it’s better to give then to receive.” Try explaining that to a googly eyed eight-year-old busily tearing wrapping off the latest Meccano set and mentally reminding God the big box just had to be the Subbuteo International edition; I had prayed for it every day and not missed a Sunday School since early September! Now was that being good or what!
By giving a little over Christmas, we can all enjoy the special feeling of the season. Just small things like having one less pint, then using the money to buy a meal deal to someone who may be desperate, homeless or perhaps sleeping rough. Buy a small box of chocolates for someone who may just need a friendly face or a little conversation. I’m sure you would bring a little happiness and perhaps feel an extra little ‘Jingle Tingle’ of the Christmas Spirit.
Christmas is our time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and I must congratulate our Churches for their special events and efforts at this time, and a big thank you for my warm welcome at various services.
The Christmas tree event at Christ Church had many visitors. The warmth, wit and humour of Father Johnathan Page, along with an excellent choir and organist, gives any congregation a real uplift.
On Sunday, I was delighted to be with Father Michael and the congregation at our Ladys’ Catholic Church in Belper. The sincere family atmosphere proved a really emotional experience for me and what was really encouraging was the many young people attending the Mass.
St Faiths enjoyed a standing room only candlelit service on Sunday. A generous donation was made towards educational work in India. We were also pleased to hear of positive results from Calcutta In India from two members of the congregation.
Continuing with the towns celebrations, I look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Eve Carol Service at Belper Market Place.
Thank you for all your many positive comments and support during 2016. May I wish you all a very happy, healthy, restful Christmas and Good Luck for A Prosperous New Year.
Belper Town Mayor