week 32 letter: Fred Ireland

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Dear Friends

Week thirty two. Is this the week that, at last, we have something positive and encouraging to report? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? This week we learnt of a possible vaccine — that maybe up to 90% effective in preventing the Covid19. If proven to be effective and safe, this could be a "gamechanger" on a global scale. I suspect that as the new vaccine needs to be stored at -80c there will be immense logistic challenges that will be needed to be overcome, none the less this could be a highly significant moment. Perhaps we will look back on Monday 9th November as the day that began the long road to defeating the Coronavirus. Time will tell.

With so much time on our hands, I recently spent time looking through my photos stored on my computer. Amazingly, there are 8,562 of them to date! This one was taken just a few minutes before I got ready for my daughter's wedding at Weedon Methodist Church to Dan. You can see one of Rachel's bridesmaids in the mirror.

This Photo was taken three years ago. And what an eventful three years these have been — not least that since that photo was taken I have managed to acquire 7 grandchildren!

This photo symbolizes the current moment for many of us: patiently waiting, reflecting, hoping for a brighter tomorrow. This photo reminds me that, an hour after it was taken , I was proudly walking my daughter down the aisle and then conducting her marriage. A year later, back at the same church, I baptized my Grandson, Arthur.

But I suspect that, looking back over time, the events of the last few days will be long remembered by so many. First of all there was the election result in America. A friend of mine in the States, reflecting on the result, said "the nightmare is over."

Let's hope the same can be said about the promising vaccine that we all hope will end the global nightmare of 2020.

With kindest Regards.


Here's a question for you

Just to change the subject a moment... There was a question posed for Radio 5 listeners the other day. I couldn't work it out so thought I'd see if you can. The answer is at the end of this letter. Don't look at the answer until you have given it a go. Let me know if you manage to work it out!

In your sock drawer you have 10 black and 10 white socks, all mixed up. How many would be the minimum you would have to take out of the draw (imagine you're blind folded) to guarantee you have a pair of socks of the same colour (either white or black)? No cheating now!!!!

This week's Devotional

Read: Matthew 25: 14-30 (Lectionary Reading)
Read: StF 343

All my days I will sing this song of gladness,
Give my praise to the Fountain of delights;
For in my helplessness You heard my cry,
And waves of mercy poured down on my life.

I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer,
I will sing of the blood that never fails;
Of sins forgiven, of conscience cleansed,
Of death defeated and life without end.

Beautiful Saviour, Wonderful Counsellor,
Clothed in majesty, Lord of history,
You're the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Star of the Morning, glorious in holiness,
You're the Risen One, heaven's Champion
And You reign, You reign over all.

I long to be where the praise is never-ending,
Yearn to dwell where the glory never fades;
Where countless worshippers will share one song,
And cries of 'worthy' will honour the Lamb!

Stuart Townend b.1963

Listen to it here:


Lord of all,
We pray today for all those who spend much of their lives in the service of others,
Those whose work offers us the care, the security,
The opportunities and the support we all take for granted in society.
In all their work,
Lord uphold them.

We think of those in hospitals and hospices,
In the police, the armed forces, the emergency services,
Prison officers, teachers and those who work in local, national nd international government.
In all their work,
Lord uphold them.

Loving God,
We thank you for all those who provide service in so many ways.
Strengthen and encourage them in their work,
Give them the support, inspiration and resources they need,
And work through them to express your love for the world.
In all their work,
Lord uphold them,
For ask it in the name of Christ. Amen

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thing is the Kingdom,
The power and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.


The question was: In your sock drawer you have 10 black and 10 white socks, all mixed up. How many would be the minimum you would have to take out of the draw (imagine you're blind folded) to guarantee you have a pair of socks of the same colour (either white or black)?

The answer is 3. That is because if you have three socks, you are bound to have a pair. So if you pull out 3 black you have a pair of black socks. If you pull out 3 white you have a pair of white socks. If you pull 2 white and 1 black or 2 black and one white...again you end up with a pair of socks. Sometimes the simplest of things can elude me!

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