In Roman mythology the god of beginnings and transitions was called Janus, the name from which we derive our ‘January’.
Janus was typically depicted as having two faces, one looking forward to the future and the other looking back to the past.
The beginning of a new year is inevitably a time for reflection and of looking forward. I renew the one new year’s resolution that I am able to keep for more than a couple of days; don’t make any new year resolutions!
2014 was a very challenging year: from the arrival of IS in the Middle East, to Enbola in West Africa and prolonged and damaging storms at home.
It was a year of hope too, with signs at last of an end to the Great Recession although the benefits have yet to begin to filter through to many ordinary folks.
Looking forward 2015 will see national celebrations of the 750th anniversary of Magna Carta, a key document in our constitution. We are already planning to mark this at St. Mary’s with a series of special events in June.
And, of course, 2015 is the year of a General Election. I know many, including myself, are very cynical about politics and politicians at the moment but this election may well determine the future of our nation for generations to come. The issues really are that important.
Do we want a smaller ‘State’ with many local services going? What about the NHS? What would life be like outside the EU? Where is the money we need coming from?
These are massive issues and demand our engagement over the next five months. Whatever ones views, we will need to register them in May through the ballot box.
Personally, 2014 was a mixture of both great joy and enormous challenge. There are many things I will remember with happiness and others that are best left in the past.
Whatever 2014 was like for you, I offer my warmest wishes to you for 2015.