Kirk Braddan

The Vicar's Letter

From the October issue of Branch, the Kirk Braddan parish magazine


It's pouring down right now, and reminiscent of the fateful day in December 2015 when the island faced major flooding: serious damage to bridgework in Douglas; engine damage to cars ploughing through Quarterbridge; and three hours to get from Tromode to Chez Vicarage – a journey which usually takes as long as boiling an egg.

This isn't an auspicious start to a new month, making me wonder how 1st November will start: scorching heat? Snow? Locusts …?

Hopefully it won't be anything like that and will instead be a clear, calm and starry night. We haven't yet had to cancel Light the Night – our annual fireworks display celebrating All Saints' Day. We got close one year when rain made us postpone, but only for a few days. So hopefully all will go well.

The band will play on (yes, this year we have live music!), the food will be in abundance, the cakes will disappear quick, the bonfire will cause insurance-based quivering, and the fireworks will go in an upwards trajectory on a south-westerly heading, landing somewhere between here and Foxdale (preferably more towards Foxdale …).

So no matter what things are like right now, we have hope and belief that all will go well in the future.

If we didn't, life would be pretty pointless and endlessly miserable. If we didn't have an expectation that the future holds good things for us, we could never claim to be a community that believes in the force of good overcoming evil and providing good for us all. We must believe that the future ultimately holds good things.

That can be tested when people cannot, or refuse to, see good around them. Be it in our own lives or around the world, it's like a virus people unwittingly catch and are unaware they have, reducing their ability to simply be human with one another. Our natural ability to love and see goodness is tested to breaking point when unfriendliness, anger and distrust threaten its place. Those things harm the human need to work together. They do not bring positive or abundant change but only bad feeling and intolerance. History has shown repeatedly that selfishness and the pushing of a single agenda only leads to conflict. And all it takes is the refusal to see, and do, good.

Conflict of any kind – global or personal – is undone instantly when we collectively see and do good. When we unlock that part of ourselves we create an upward spiral; one person helping another, who then helps another. It may seem a fragile spiral when it only takes one troublemaker to threaten things, but the Church would have ended a long time ago if all it took for good to be undone was one bad egg. That's not how the universe works.

Because our source of endless goodness comes from the only power upon which the universe stands (and that power is inherently good) whatever we build is never lost. We may lose sight of it until the dusts of war settle and people rediscover compassion and mercy. But goodness itself never dies.

So if we want to be part of that goodness we have to believe there will be something beautiful and good beyond these stormy times. Which is why I know that the October rains will stop and there will be a chance in November to have fun. With bonfires and fireworks, cake and music.

I don't know what day that may be, but I know it will come. Because of the goodness of the Lord.

God bless