Weekly news and meditations from Elstow Abbey for December 2020 and January 2021










January 3rd 2021

A Reflection by Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

My English teacher at school seemed to have eyes in the back of her head. She always saw what I was up to.

Every New Year’s Day I acquire the same skill.

I look backwards as well as forwards. I remember what has gone, as well as looking forward to what will be.

This year, more than most, I look back with sadness at the hurts and challenges of 2020, but with great hope that 2021 might be different. And I do it with the God who, in Christ, gives light to those who dwell in darkness, even those in the shadow of death. God’s eyes and heart behold the hopes and fears of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Christ is always the light in the darkness. In him we make sense of our place in the journey of the passing years. He holds out to us a lantern, lighting our path through whatever lies ahead.


Loving God, 

this New Year, 

guide my feet, 

comfort my heart 

and strengthen my will,

that with your hand to lead, 

we may build a better world. 





Sunday, December 28th 2020

A reflection  by Martha Collison

Christmas would not be Christmas without food, especially as we share with others. The restrictions of the last months have been hard for all of us. We have missed the chance to gather together and share food.

As we sit and eat, we can also discover that God sits and eats with us. Whether alone or with others, whether in celebration or stillness, in our companionship and our gratitude God’s presence is made known.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room

God’s love discovered, God’s love received and God’s love shared. That’s the message of Christmas, for shepherds on a quiet hillside, and for us wherever we find ourselves.

Joy to the world! Glory to God! Peace to all!

Martha Collison is a baker and food writer.

December 26th 2020