10 December 2021
Chaplain’s Chat Dec 2021
As I watch the news on TV I have the overwhelming feeling that we’ve been here before!
I hope that everyone has remained safe and if exposed to the virus, recovered.
Despite all the restrictions we’ve had a good year in the TCA in terms of preparing for and safeguarding the future with much resolved at our AGM. We had an excellent gathering in Torquay; the food was of a very high standard and the evening dinner was, I thought excellent. Thank you to Peter and everyone who sorted the weekend. BZ.
Yet again we are assailed by a new version of Covid, just as we were getting used to things!
Restrictions are reimposed but for me these are nothing more than business as usual. We’ve had all the vaccinations going and unless in the open air and not surrounded by a crowd, we wear our masks, use the appropriate hand wash and self-distance. Equally we are happy to take off our masks when in a restaurant or at a social occasion, especially if it is with our own age group. It’s become a way of life, involving a little self-discipline.
For us, it’s not too onerous but we recognise that this may not be true for everyone. More importantly our self-discipline is helping others keep safe and ‘others’ may be more vulnerable than us. This surely emphasises the point of Christmas. It’s others that matter; it’s to others whom we should give or bring hope. Sometimes the downsides of the Covid restrictions are hidden, for example in a school I know 30% of pupils are on free lunches compared to 3% beforehand. There is much hidden distress, and this is no fault of those who are suffering, it is just the circumstances.
Perhaps we can all keep an eye open and if we can’t help directly then perhaps get in touch with those who can – the local church of any variety is a good place to start. The TCA of course can help members who may have difficulties.
Yet again this Christmas will be different for many TCA members and our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones or friends this year. Christmas is always a poignant time where we miss those we love no matter when they crossed the bar. they are brought more sharply into focus, a contrast to the happy family time we should be happening.
I always say a prayer in church at this time of year for those whom we love but no longer see and I always raise a glass to that love at Christmas lunch. The well-known naval toast: ’to absent friends’ has much to commend it. But Christmas should always remind us that it is about ‘hope’. The hope of a better world shown to us through the life and work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We have a way to go yet but that is what hope is all about.
I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a blessed 2022 and look forward to our reunion in the north!
Every blessing to you all Trevor
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Newsletter from HMS CHIDDINGFOLD - MCM2 Crew 3 back on duty in the Gulf - See December Newsletter in Further Info page
GOODBYE CURLEW - Justin Drysdale, manager of Margate Marina in Tasmania, advises that they have pulled the ex-HMAS CURLEW ashore and are currently looking to dismantle the vessel for scrap. He asks if TCA has any contacts who would be interested in purchasing items such as anchors and chains etc. We have put him in contact with the TEAL project in Cyprus.