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New Year messages from Grantham MP Gareth Davies, Mayor Dean Ward and Father Stuart Cradduck

Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford

Another year has passed and I think on this occasion many of us are pleased to see it go.

It is remarkable to think that this time last year, we had never even heard of ‘coronavirus’, I had never looked at an infection rate bell chart and I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of epidemiology.

MP Gareth Davies (38960450)
MP Gareth Davies (38960450)

Much has been said about how tough it has been but I don’t think any words could fully describe the frustration, pain and uncertainty felt by so many. Whether it is the family who have lost a loved one forever to the virus, a hard working employee who has lost their job, or a business owner who has seen the product of years of struggle and perseverance crumble away.

The virus has not discriminated – world leaders, rich and poor, young and old have fallen victim to its scourge. It has been an enemy with no face or flag, but who’s attack has been like no other.

It has called for unprecedented action at the state level, but rest assured, nobody wants this invasion of our liberties to go on any longer than it has to.

Christmas is a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have, and who we have. This year we have seen the importance of our community and the importance of kindness when things get tough. I want to thank everyone who has played a part in this national crisis, no matter how big or small your contribution in helping another.

While there is hope on the horizon with the UK leading the way with the vaccine rollout – we have to hold on through these winter months and continue to watch out for each other.

When all else is lost, kindness prevails. If we can be anything this Christmas, let us be kind.

Father Stuart Cradduck, Rector of St Wulfram’s

The future’s bright.

Well, some would say that anything can only be brighter than most of 2020, and that’s true to some extent, but think about how we as a community, through all this adversity, have come together in different ways.

Father Stuart Cradduck, rector of St Wulfram's Church (24900832)
Father Stuart Cradduck, rector of St Wulfram's Church (24900832)

Online coffee mornings, shopping for neighbours, reaching out to new people, passing on some of our stockpile of loo roll!

This year has been an incredible year of challenges for us individually and collectively as a community.

I’m sure 2021 will also bring many challenges to us as a community as well. However, I hope it will be a year of hope and a time in which we will be able to physically be together again and thrive as a community, learning from the lessons of 2020.

I’m sure it will.

2021 will again be a different year, a year in which we will be able to come out from our ‘cocoons’ and live in a new and transformed way, a year shaped by the past, but hopeful of the new life which lays ahead of us.

For us as a community at St Wulfram’s, we’ll be welcoming a new associate rector as part of the Diocese of Lincoln’s commitment to us as a church community resourcing other churches around Lincolnshire.

We’ll be opening our new resource centre at Grantham House and supporting this town in a way our old church hall site would never have let us. We’ll be offering opportunities for the whole community of Grantham to use this site for wholeness and wellbeing.

It has challenges but so many opportunities, and we’d love to hear your ideas about how this site can be used for the benefit of everyone. A site which 99 per cent of the people of Grantham has never visited. All are welcome!

However, through all these challenges, changes and joys for me a Christian is the eternal presence of Christ in our lives and that we can confident of his love for us in all that we do and in all that we live through.

May God bless us all as we continue in his light and love.

Councillor Dean Ward, Mayor of Grantham

With a lot of us glad to see the back of 2020 it looks like 2021 will be a better year with the vaccine, starting with the most vulnerable and the health workers.

I found myself complaining a couple of times about not being able to have my usual holidays abroad but then thought about people that have lost loved ones to this terrible disease, so losing a couple of holidays when looking at the big picture is no big whoop.

Mayor of Grantham Dean Ward. (42718208)
Mayor of Grantham Dean Ward. (42718208)

My mayor’s diary has been empty so I’m looking forward to getting some dates in there and meeting people.

I’m asking the great people of Grantham to look to the future; one last effort and let’s get over this so it will a distant memory.

To those that have lost their jobs, I sincerely hope you find employment.

To those that have lost loved ones you have my blessings and thoughts go out to you.

In 2021 we will find ourselves in the national news, hopefully in the spring-time with the Margaret Thatcher statue being unveiled.

Something to be proud of.

Yes it will be a ‘Marmite’ statue but, love it or hate it, Grantham will be on the map and in the limelight.

The Mayor’s Parlour is supposed to be non-political and once restrictions are lifted I shall open up the parlour again for coffee mornings.

I don’t care if you’re a true blue, a Labour supporter or a Jedi Knight, you will be made to feel welcome.

So please have a fantastic Christmas if you can. Enjoy being with family but don’t kiss your nan and look forward to 2021.

Stay safe and keep well Grantham, and let’s put this behind us.

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