Revd. Jan AshtonHi,

I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day. Is this unfashionable to say? Isn’t there an argument which says it’s just another way card companies have of parting us from our money. And anyway, what’s the point of sending a card to someone who knows you love them.

I grew up hearing my dad say this every year. Every February 14th my mum would give a card to my dad who’d try to say thank you in between bemoaning the fact that she’d been taken in yet again by the commercialism. When my mum was 80 she had a bleed on the brain and was seriously ill in hospital for some time but did eventually come home with reduced mobility. On one of my visits just after Valentine’s Day, I saw one large card on the sideboard. This time it was from my dad to my mum saying ‘I love you Dora. From Tom xx’. And so it was every year until Mum died, my dad gave my mum a Valentine’s card.

I could have teased my dad about what he’d said every year for the past 40 years. I could have told him he shouldn’t have said who it was from. I didn’t say anything as I knew he’d found a way to say what he wanted to say. Perhaps it took mum’s illness to jolt him into wanting to do this.

Renewal Of PromisesValentine’s Day is well advertised and this reminds me I must make an effort to find a card or even make a card. Taken-for-Grantedness can become part of any long standing relationship. But this is destructive leading to a feeling of the relationship having little value. Valentine’s Day should prompt us to say what our partner means to us, why we love them and perhaps to even include a ‘thank you’ for what they mean to us.Yes, we might say ‘I love you’ regularly but once a year it is good to say it differently.

On Saturday 11th February at 7.30pm in church there will be a ‘Renewal of Promises’ service for ALL couples. We’ll start with a ‘Do you know your partner quiz?’, followed by a time of thinking what are the good values in any relationship and finishing with a declaration that we will strive to cherish our partner as well as love them. There will be champagne and chocolates afterwards.

Jan Ashton