Thought for the day 15 February

Yesterday was St Valentine’s Day and media and marketing departments gave their full attention to promoting romantic themes. But alongside those celebrating their relationships, we also need to remember those for whom a day like St Valentine’s Day makes them feel uncomfortable: those who have lost their ‘significant other’, those where a relationship has broken down perhaps acrimoniously, those who have never found that ‘other person’, those who are in an abusive relationship, those who are physically separated from their ‘other person’ because of work, pandemic restrictions etc. As we celebrate with those in loving, supportive relationships, so we also express our support and care for those who don’t/ no longer have a ‘significant other’, or who feel trapped in a difficult relationship

Lord, where we have a special relationship with someone, we give thanks. We know that there are many people who are not in that position – some are not particularly concerned by it, but others live with sadness and difficult memories. Some people are in a special relationship with someone, but it is not happy and loving. Relationships in general are not easy, and those ‘special relationships’ require patience, commitment and the kind of self-giving love that you show us. Be with all in ‘special relationships’, all feeling the loss of a relationship that has come to an end, and those living in difficult relationships. Help us to know when and how to support others, without interfering and making things worse.

On 28 May 1787 Burns and friends set off from Alnwick for Morpeth. Instead of taking the direct route via the Great North Road, they diverted to see the ruined Warkworth Castle (a former stronghold of the Percy Earls of Northumberland) and Hermitage

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