from Canon Roy Lawrence
This is the time of the year when many people go on holiday. Often they go to the seaside or somewhere where they can enjoy open spaces and scenes of natural beauty and good fresh air. However those of us who live in or around New Brighton have the privilege of enjoying all these things all the year round. We may not feel the need for a physical change of scenery. So how can we mark the holiday season without necessarily moving out of our own homes? Here are a handful of suggestions.
At holiday-time it is good to do something new. Why not visit somewhere local where you have never been before? Or read a book on a subject about which you know little or nothing. Watch a TV programme you would normally avoid. God means us to be explorers. We don’t have to move away from home in order to do it.
Or why not take advantage of a local amenity which you have so far neglected? For example, we have some splendid libraries in our area. These days I am regularly to be found at Wallasey Central Library. They have an excellent stock of books to read and of talking books too. Also, though this is not widely known, they provide an imaginative social programme. The staff, who are all really friendly and helpful, will be delighted to give you details.
Why not treat yourself to a meal somewhere locally – perhaps at one of the wide range of restaurants at and around Marine Point or in one of our local pubs? My wife and I have been really impressed at the excellence of the food when we have visited some of them.
Holidays are a good time to get to know someone new. Once again you don’t have to be away from home to do this. There may be neighbours you do not know well. Why not invite them in for a cup of tea or coffee? There are few things in life more important than relationships. The richest people in the world are not those who have most money but those who have the best relationships and the deepest friendships. Human personality can be a treasure chest. We are meant to hunt for the treasure in the people around us.
Finally,with apologies for the fact that it is an ex-vicar writing these words, the holiday season can be a good time to have a new look at the churches around you. Many churches put a great deal of time and thought into catering for the needs of holiday-makers You don’t need to be away from home to benefit from this. You may well be in for a surprise if you walk through the door of a near-by church. Churches have never been more friendly and there has never been more variety in the types of services which are available. If you like old-time hymns and prayers, you will have no difficulty in finding a church with traditional services. If you prefer something more informal and appreciate new ways of worship, these too are not difficult to find. In addition there will be a wide range of social events as well as religious services. You could easily find yourself making new friendships, and even more importantly, you could find yourself rediscovering Jesus in an entirely new way. He has promised to refresh all who turn to him. And what does ‘refreshment’ mean but having‘a holiday for the spirit’? So perhaps this is the best holiday suggestion of all.