Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 22 December 2016


Christmas Day is always frenetic in our household. I tell people that over Christmas I am going to light my fire and sit beside it but it has never happened yet. More likely to be found sprawled on the floor helping to build a complicated self-assembly game that some thoughtless person has bought one of the grandchildren. This year my main duty will be to stop the 8 month old from crawling anywhere near the fire. I will have to be quick, because he is turbo-charged.

One highlight of the day however, one moment when all is (relatively) calm, is when we gather to watch the Queen's Christmas broadcast. I have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for this woman. In recent years she has been very open about her personal faith and what Christmas means to her, which we have appreciated.

Her faith in Jesus has not protected her from all the vicissitudes of life. We will never forget her "annus horribilis" when her family was beset with problems culminating in the premature death of the much-loved Princess Diana, mother of our future king. Being a follower of Christ does not insulate us from problems, but it does give us the platform from which we can put those challenges into a longer term perspective. "In this life you will have troubles" Jesus said, and we all do, whether believers or not. But Christians look forward to an eternal life free from sickness, death or disappointment.

Her majesty has found in her personal faith the motivation to serve her country in a most magnificent way. Her speech to the Commonwealth when her father died was memorable: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong." It has been a long life and she has kept her promise.

Our faith, if authentic, will always be a motivator to do good, to love our neighbour, to do our duty and to serve. But in that calling we also find joy and freedom. I am so glad that amongst all of the duty and service Her Majesty has found great joy in her relationship with her husband and her love of horses.

Thank you Your Majesty for your Spectacular Service.

Thank you Jesus that this Christmas we celebrate your birth.

Merry Christmas to all.

posted by Gary @ 10:56