St Michael & All Angels

Sharing God's Love

From the Vicarage

February 2019

Dear All

Continuing from last month – I do hope you are ‘enjoying’ your New Year resolutions.  I read that we are not to beat ourselves up if we fail once or twice, and certainly not to give up and call ourselves failures, but to keep on trying! 

Success and Failure are words that we do seem to measure ourselves by, often unfairly but it seems to be part of our psychological make up.  Unfortunately, it is those very emotions that are played upon by bullies.  I am no expert on this subject, but in my role as Vicar I do find myself concerned for, listening to and praying with people who have been broken by being manipulated or bullied.  So often it can be very clever or subtle which is why the victim believes no-one will listen or believe their story and experience.  We do need to talk and listen to each other about this and of course I am particularly aware that our young people might experience such victimisation.  We have physical intimidation happening here in our village, along with general name calling and abuse and the dreaded cyber bullying.  I understand that it is now possible to download an app onto a phone, ensuring that a bullying ‘sender’ can remain anonymous!

This has got to stop!  How? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that our local charity ‘The Weald Family Hub’ is actively helping with counselling and education.  I am concerned for the victims, but I am also concerned for the perpetrators.  What inspires this game?  Telling people they are failures with their achievements, love interests, physical form, etc. etc. is not a clever occupation yet somehow it makes the perpetrator feel they are the successful one.

Very soon we will be in the pre-Easter period of Lent, but we need to remind ourselves between Christmas and Easter of why Jesus came to be with us, live with us, guide us and pray for us.  He came and did all this as part of God’s plan for all of us to have a closer relationship with Him, to see the light – to realise there is a greater being who loves and cares for each of us, whether we deem ourselves a success or a failure.  In God’s loving eyes, we are all His children and that, to believe in Him, is in itself the success.  A good choice.

Please remember our young people and what they might be going through, even if it doesn’t show on their faces.  But also remember victimisation is not exclusive to the young.  It happens to all ages and in that we are all vulnerable to it.  Please pray for an end to this epidemic which is sweeping the country and please pray that God’s light would shine through.

Jesus came to save us from this – let’s actively and collectively bring Him into the problem.

With love