The spirit of Christmas is sorely needed to heal the divisions caused by Covid, says a Welsh Christian leader.
"In addition to its devastating impact on public health, events and attitudes related to the pandemic have caused considerable distress," said the Revd Beti-Wyn James, President of the Union of Welsh Independent Churches (Yr Annibynwyr), which represents Christians meeting in about 400 chapels in Wales.
"On the one hand, there is bitterness towards some politicians and others who are alleged to have disregarded anti-Covid regulations, and on the other hand resentment by, and against, those who oppose those regulations.
"Christ was born to mediate between God and humanity, and we really need that spirit of reconciliation, tolerance and love in our society this Christmas. Jesus’ life and death was one of complete self-sacrifice. Many people have already sacrificed so much during this pandemic, and continue to do so. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to NHS and Social Care staff, and other essential workers who have gone the extra mile and more during this unprecedented period in our lifetime," said the Revd James.
"As the crisis deepens once again, we are called upon to sacrifice our own attitudes and actions for the common good. If we have genuine concern and love for our fellow human beings, then we have a personal responsibility to take all possible steps to help prevent the spread of this terrible virus, in the hope that we will be free from this nightmare by next Christmas.
"In the meantime, I wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and a better New Year in 2022."