As a vicar of many years standing, I sometimes despair of the human race. Not always, but there are times when I wonder just why we do to ourselves the things that we do. As a species, we seem to enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on others. Not always. Not always. I tried to remind myself that it had been a bad week, one of those in any clergyman’s life when he begins to wonder if he shouldn’t take up something less stressful. There had been several incidents which I would rather have forgotten, or better still, rather not have had to deal with. Violence, attempted suicide, drunkenness, petty theft, vandalism in the church porch which would now have to be repainted, to mention only some of the events of the week. rigours of winter. Well, almost everything.