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Viewpoint from Rev Daniel Pritchard 16/09/2022

DANIEL PRITCHARDRev Daniel Pritchard
Deputy Lead Chaplain – James Paget University Hospital


Turn up the warmth?

I am sure, like me, you have struggled in recent weeks to keep your home cool.  When should I close the windows, draw the curtains, keep the heat of the sun out?  When should I throw them open again, in the hope that a breeze might lower the temperature?  If I keep the fan on at night, will it help me sleep – or will the noise keep me awake?
For many, if not most of us, the memories of those weeks of heatwave will fade quickly as the question of how to heat our homes and businesses during the winter, becomes a much more pressing concern.  This, alongside increasing prices in the shops seems set to cause great anxiety, and the cost of living crisis will affect us all
dove leftSo, encouraged to do some things to help ourselves, we adjust the flow temperature on our central heating boilers; turn down the radiators; consider when to run our washing machines, tumble-dryers and dishwashers; use the eco setting on the shower (I don’t like that one much!) and put on warmer clothes indoors
When faced with crisis, our instinctive reaction may be to focus on our own situation, and it is right that we all do our bit to lower our energy use in the coming months - but what of our responsibility to help others?  I know that, whatever my need, there will be others who will become desperate, or even destitute.  Do I simply look to the government to help them, or hope and pray the situation changes soon, or do I have a responsibility to help where I can?  If the pandemic taught us anything, it certainly encouraged us to consider how we might help and support others around us in their need
In the Bible, one of Jesus’ followers taught that true religion, the kind God accepts, is not just reciting words, or conducting familiar rituals, but is found in our concern for the weakest in our society and our practical care for them.  (You can read this for yourself at the end of the book of James, Chapter 1, in the New Testament)
So, my appeal to us all is, that even as we close our windows and turn down the thermostats, we open our hearts and turn up the warmth of love, care and generosity to those who need it, giving and helping where we can, so that they make it through


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