#HumansofWMP | A Christmas message from volunteer Chaplain Aaron Humphriss.

I enjoyed school and got involved in volunteering. Our school liaison officer was supportive of students who wanted to volunteer. 

I was also in the Army Cadet Force. It was a significant part of my life. I’m proud to have received a British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award and a St John’s Ambulance Young First Aider of the Year award. 

After school I got a degree in Politics and War Studies and became a Faith in Politics intern. I spent a year working in Westminster. Then I worked in New York with the Holy See, which represents the Catholic Church at the United Nations.

I became a Catholic in 2015. 

I’ve been thinking about training to be a priest for a couple of years. I’ve visited the sick and housebound and been involved in youth work at church. I wanted to experience a wider range of roles so I joined West Midlands Police after seeing an advert for chaplains in 2019. 

image of Aaron

I’m looking forward to Christmas this year, despite the pandemic. It’ll look different for everyone. Christmas will also be different for my church community. The congregation can’t sing carols together which is usually a source of great joy. We’ll also miss our vulnerable parishioners as they shield. 

It’s important to keep doing everything we can to stay safe. However, as a result of restrictions, people have suffered immensely. Some have lost loved ones, or jobs. People are struggling with mental health. Winter means it’s often dark and miserable outside. 

But just as news about vaccines generates hope, so does Christmas.

Think of all the lights and decorations we see. The lights pierce through the darkness, filling us with a sense of happiness. This is the heart of the Christmas story - an overriding message of hope and light. 

By treasuring the simple things, we too can become a light shining in the dark. This pandemic has challenged us all, but many have said it’s made them realise what’s important. 

Christmas is a time to appreciate those around us. When we do this, we spread the light of hope to others. 

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