The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Alison White, writes:

That gift of thanks

There are two small words I think could change all kinds of things in this coming year.

They are two words my grandmother was especially keen on at this time of year when after Christmas and my birthday she encouraged me to write letters (it was the old days) to say thank you.

What a gift those two words are.

There are so many good and generous people who are quietly getting on with what they rightly think is normal life – being there for people in need, praying, giving time, finding ways to make a difference. Mostly they go un-noticed because they are what make our communities just go on happening. What a most heart warming, spirit lifting surprise when someone does notice and says ‘Thank You’.

For each of us it is a boost when we are seen and valued by that gift of thanks.

I love the psalms, with their moods and modes which give voice to all the cries of our lives. One of those is the giving of thanks.

‘O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever’ (Psalm 136 verse 1). This refocuses us. We don’t have to live under the cosh of blame and complaint. Thanksgiving opens up our spirits, smiles at God and softens our relationships with each other.

I am so full of thanks as I walk into this new year. Thanks to God for the grace of his gift in calling me here to be a Bishop with you. Thanks to you for your prayers which have made that take shape and be possible. So let’s give thanks for one another, and as our new year gift, pray for one another – for wisdom, faithfulness, stamina, vision, kindness, courage, - we could all add to those cries as we listen out for what God is calling us to in this year to come.

Thank you!