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A Christmas message from the Bishop of Norwich

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The transcript of the film is below:

I join you from St Andrew’s Church in East Lexham near the middle of the Diocese of Norwich. Behind me is a stained glass window which may seem familiar.

It depicts the visit of the magi to the Holy Family in Bethlehem. It features on the second class Royal Mail Christmas stamp. Many of us have been sticking these stamps on envelopes as we’ve been writing our Christmas cards.

The scene is one of comfort and joy. Mary looks on her son, whilst seemingly tickling his toes. Jesus points outwards; out to the world. He wants us to follow him there.

This year we have had to find new ways of being the Church and I have been inspired by the imagination shown in our worship together and the many acts of kindness to neighbours.

Very quickly our rural schools partnered with their churches to ‘Fill the Gap’, trying to ensure that no child would go hungry.

We’ve got on generating light in our communities in Norfolk and Waveney during what, for many, have been dark and anxious days.

We’ve discovered again that love lights up the world. Thank you for your part in sharing that.

We have also discovered that it is from the shadows that hope rises up. From the shadows of the stable in an obscure town called Bethlehem, hope emerged.

Hope for the whole world; God with us.

We need to hold on to the gift of hope that we find in Jesus more than anything else this year.

It’s what brings us both comfort and joy.

I pray that there will be moments this Christmas when the nativity will draw you in to light up your life with love and fill you with Christ’s hope.

God bless you and yours this Christmas.

The Rt Revd Graham Usher,
Bishop of Norwich