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Midnight mass - I leave feeling good about the world, then I talk to Uncle Chris

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 26 December 2016

On Christmas Day I chatted to Uncle Chris Booker. A wide ranging chat but we cannot help but conclude that at a geo-political level the world is going ever more badly wrong. Price Charles this populism is a real danger and must be fought. Quite right you unelected hereditary multi millionaire, lets pursue policies that favour the 1% and screw the masses. Let's stick with policies that, for a reason that a patrician fool might not grasp, are not popular in any way. As a life long republican I really do hope that the Queen lives forever.

I tried to say that there were reasons to be joyful. And there are. We have welcomed Joshua into our family. There are events in Syria where the right side is winning and the folly of our leaders is being exposed - a matter I reflect on HERE. Article 50 will be triggered. The EU may well implode. President Trump may stop the global warming bandwagon, a false religion if there ever was one. It is not all bad. But Uncle Chris seemed unconvinced.

Some eighteen hours later I was filled with, almost joy, as the Mrs and I walked with a sleeping Joshua back from Midnight Mass. Of course - as is always the way of the CofE the priest made a couple of political points straight out of the Guardian - but there was no anger in me. The Mrs and I are both from actively Christian families but we are both fairly lapsed, she less so than I am.

But over the past year I have thought more and more about faith, belief and other matters. I do find myself reading the bible now and again and I marvel at those who have genuine faith like the amazing lady in Kambos. At the communion, this year for the first time both the Mrs and I went up to the altar leaving Joshua snoozing and watched over by friend Mu. we did not take communion as that would have been a fraud, neither of us could say we believe. But we asked for a blessing and I felt really like something did happen.

The final carol came with that last verse we only sing on Christmas day.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing
O Come let us adore Him, etc

That last verse always tells me that it is Christmas day and this year with Joshua it is a very special celebration of the nativity for this family.

Before we braved the chill night air we headed to the crypt for tea, coffee and mince pies. There was another younger couple there with a tiny baby. It had been due to be born - as was I almost 49 years ago on January 12 but instead joined this world on November 24. This Christmas will be truly special for that family too. The other worshipper were almost all elderly. I suppose our grouping of the unfashionable, the elderly and those of faith will be the sort of folks that the metropolitan elites, the EU loving Godless millennials and almost the entire media will sneer about either covertly in "locker room talk) or, increasingly these days, in the open.

For Christianity is the a barbarous relic that, unlike other faiths, it is now acceptable to mock without fear that you will have your head chopped off or even face mild rebuke. My fifteen year old daughter from Islington has again enjoyed a Christmas without making one appearance at a religious ceremony. For her Christmas has nothing to do with faith, it is one almighty consumerist binge. Santa gave her, inter alia, a book about "Everyday sexism" which she delighted in telling me about. We of the old world are all sexists and lost of other ists and we might go to church.

I felt joyous as I walked home from church from spending an hour with some really good and loving people. My joy - which the Mrs shared - was not born out of knowing that presents and fine cooking awaits. That was just a bonus.

Next year, I hope, we shall celebrate Christmas in a packed church in a place where most people still cling to a faith. A place where consumerism is yet to dominate all. Maybe, just maybe it will be our first Christmas at the Greek Hovel.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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