By Rev Jonathan Fleming, St John's Church, and Cumbrae Parish Church

February is here at last!

I did laugh when I read the following rhyme on Facebook recently: 30 days hath September, April, June and November,

All the rest have 31, Except for January, which has about 973…

Am I the only one who feels that January seems to last for ages?!

All joking aside, this time of year can be a struggle for many. For some, the lack of daylight in the winter months necessitates light therapy to counter what we now call Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For others, the reality of the cost of Christmas has hit the doormat or inbox in the last couple of weeks (in one or more envelopes or e-statements), bringing with it anxiety and sleepless nights for many.

People have been having sleepless nights since Biblical times. In the book of Deuteronomy, we read of people in the day wishing it were the evening and people in the evening wishing that it were morning…

This year, many churches in Largs and Millport, in partnership with our schools and wider communities, are seeking to become beacons of light in an otherwise dark time for many people at this time as well as throughout the year. The rise of mental health issues in North Ayrshire is something that we simply cannot read about anymore, say ‘oh, that’s a shame’, and do nothing about.

Through professional training, dedicated volunteers, planning and investment, we hope that we will be able to demonstrate what Jesus expects Christians to do in his name:

'I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25)

Wishing you all light, love and peace this February,