THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: With Pauline Farman

YOU may remember the Christmas and New Year messages of Her Majesty the Queen; the Archbishop of Canterbury and our own Bishop of Gloucester were about taking small steps to make a difference to others.

The Queen’s concern was for people on either side of the Brexit divide to acknowledge differences, but work together to build bridges and heal division.

Both the Archbishop’s and Bishop’s messages were for us all to reach out to show God’s love for everyone whether we know them or not.

Not huge expensive challenges which none of us could achieve, but small steps – a smile and ‘Thank you’ for the assistant in the Post Office; a ‘Good morning’ to someone we meet on the way to the shops; a ‘phone-call to a friend we haven’t seen for a long time to check they are alright; a quick visit to someone living alone who may be lonely; a letter to a relative we rarely see – everyone enjoys reading a cheery letter especially on a dull grey February day; a coffee and a natter with an acquaintance – just a few minutes can make all the difference.

It doesn’t need to cost anything – a smile, a friendly greeting, a helping hand are all FREE.

All these small steps will make a giant leap for our own well-being and also that of everyone we meet.

And, because it’s so simple it is something which we can continue throughout the rest of our lives, unlike a New Year’s resolution which is usually abandon before the end of January!

The season of Lent gives us all a perfect opportunity to start to make a difference.

It is usually the time when we give up something we like – chocolate, cake of biscuits – but I’m suggesting instead (or as well!) we take these small steps to help make a better more caring world.

As Lent started yesterday, let us all give it a go right NOW.

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