This Christmas St. Mel’s Cathedral will be reopened after five years. We have been looking forward to this joyful occasion since the scenes of devastation at Christmas 2009. Since then many have been involved in the restoration project and many have given their support and encouragement to the mammoth project. When the newly restored St. Mel’s opens its doors at Christmas it will be like returning to a much loved sacred space.
Another sacred space for all of us at Christmas is our home with family and friends. For some families Christmas will not be the same because of the absence of family members who are abroad. For some death will have left an empty place at the table. Christmas is about ‘God with us’. May Jesus be particularly close to those who miss and who mourn family members and friends at this time.
The story of Jesus birth in Bethlehem reminds us of God’s very close relationship with each person. In our Cathedral and in our parish churches we will listen to the moving story of God sharing his life with humanity. God becoming one of us and remaining with us. My prayer is that the Bethehem story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and God’s continuing presence with you will bring you and your family hope, joy and peace this Christmas.