This year, although we have heard a lot about Charles Darwin, I have been struck by how little attention has been paid to his personal life. In many ways he died a broken man: he wrote that he longed for the grave in Down Churchyard. Coming from a solid philanthropical background, Darwin found his 'scientific' logic to be at odds with his heart. The man who concluded that it was folly to permit the sick to breed, found that some of his own children were weak and unhealthy. Darwin's anointed successor on the continent was Ernst Haeckel thanks to whom the concept of 'unlebenswurdig' - or life unworthy of living - first enters the German dictionary. Darwin's son Leonard became chairman of the British Eugenics Society. It is as if, in doing away with the Creator, the way had been paved for the destruction also of the creature. This is contrasted with God's love which embraces every individual and gives it worth and dignity.
This year, once again we had good numbers at all our services. I was particularly pleased to see a lot of young people who had made the effort to join us.