1 December 2014
One day someone left a newspaper clipping in my pigeon-hole at the church I was then serving in. It was of an article entitled:
Team that saw the light and ended sadness
Aberdeen Football Club have hit outstanding form in their Scottish Premier League home matches this season. Since the installation of special light boxes in the players’ dressing room the team has had eight consecutive home wins. The boxes, designed for sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), are thought to have lifted the players’ spirits and inspired them on the field. As the days grow shorter, the boxes emit a bright light that compensates for the lack of sunlight and is thought to make people feel happier and more energetic. Sufferers of SAD often feel lethargic depressed and hopeless. It has been suggested that Aberdeen players and supporters have been feeling that way for years!
The article didn’t say whether or not they were also placed in the visiting team’s dressing room, but I suspect not!
Whoever kindly passed the article onto me knew that I was also the proud owner of a “SAD light box”. I endeavour to sit in front of it for ½ hour every morning and evening (usually when saying morning and evening prayer) and it has certainly helped me, especially throughout the winter months.
The effectiveness of another “light therapy” is underlined by Biblical verses associated with the approach of Christmas and from the Benedictus (or Song of Zechariah), the canticle used at Morning Prayer:
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78,79
It is the coming of Jesus into our lives that can lift us above the lethargy, depression and hopelessness of our world and give us a new joy and energy. But not just this - we too have the privilege of reflecting his light to others. If the Lord is our “sun” then we can be his “moons” reflected his light to others. (There is so much in the Bible on this theme, why not “reflect” upon it. Isa.9:2-6, 60:1-3; Mal 4:2; Matt.4:12-17, 5:14-16, John 8:12; Eph.5:14; Ex.34:29-35 cf. 2 Cor.3:12-18)
May this Advent and Christmas be one that knows the Lord’s light shining upon us and reflected by us to others!
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
With every blessing,
1 November 2014
I am very pleased to introduce myself to you and I very much look forward to meeting you personally. I was educated at King Edward’s VI School, Lichfield, and for 15 years followed a career in Banking before becoming a Reader in 1987. This was a change of direction that came about gradually - there was no sudden “conversion experience”. I trained at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and was ordained in Worcester in 1992. I subsequently obtained a BA at the Open University, and an MA in Pastoral Theology at Birmingham University in 1996, followed by a Ph.D in Theology in 2000.
My ministry began in the largely rural diocese of Worcester. I was assistant Curate in the Worcester South-East Team from 1992-1995 and also a part-time Chaplain at St.Richard’s Hospice and at RNIB New College, Worcester. In 1995, I became Rector of Ripple, Earls Croome with Hill Croome and Strensham, and in 2000 I also became Rector of Upton upon Severn and The Church of the Good Shepherd, Hook Common. The churches, and the communities which each served, were very active and mixed, and I enjoyed the predictable and unexpected challenges and demands of parochial ministry in both town and country; this included developing new patterns of lay ministry and fundraising for a significant medieval church. I was also privileged to work ecumenically as a member of the Upton upon Severn Local Ecumenical Partnership from 1999, becoming its Chairman in 2005. From 1997-2005 I was Rural Dean of Upton, and Chairman of the Worcester Diocesan House of Clergy from 2002-2005. I was appointed an Honorary Canon of Worcester Cathedral in 2003. In 2005, I moved to Cornwall to become Dean of Truro and Rector of St.Mary’s Truro where I began working with new colleagues and many different groups of people within the Cathedral and across the diocese of Truro, all of which I enjoyed.
Read more: Revd Dr Chris Hardwick, Priest-in-Charge (Vicar Designate) of Tavistock, Gulworthy and Brent Tor