In mid-winter as we are now, only the barest signs of Spring are visible. But we have no doubt that Spring is just around the corner even though the ground still carries many of the dead leaves of last Summer.
We continue to live in a time of change, in society, in political life, in the Church and in our parish. As the old certainties pass away, we can be both fearful and excited at what the future will bring.
Our Diocesan and Parish structures have served us well in the past but they assumed a large number of priests and a model of church where the priests provided the necessary Church services for the people.
For many years, theologians and church leaders have been saying that now is the time when all baptised people will take their rightful places in church life. However, it has taken the huge reduction in the number of priests to bring us to the moment where lay people can flourish.
As we move into the future, guided by our new bishop, Niall Coll, we can choose to resist change or to be open and excited about what is happening in our parish and in the diocese. But like the coming spring, the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God will break through the withered beauties of last year and carry us forward to enjoy what is new and fresh in the world.