New Year Predictions - Bishop Nigel’s recent article in the Courier and Advertiser


The New Year brings new resolutions and fresh hopes. Each year The Economist magazine publishes a forward review of the coming year. I recently bought The World in 2014 which provides a global snapshot of likely events and developments. It makes interesting reading.

I am no futurologist but it seems that a number of trends will continue in our part of the world. The Scottish economy will both recover and stutter, while banks will not easily regain their reputations anytime soon. Courier country will have its share of innovative successes in business and education, as well as continuing problems with health and youth unemployment.

Those of us who contribute to the voluntary sector will be under pressure to help those who fall through the gaps in social welfare provision, those with mental health problems and a growing aging population. How we care for those least optimistic about the coming year is a telling measure of our ambition as a society.

Scotland 2014 has significant occasions upcoming on the calendar. The Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup will doubtless showcase Scotland well. And then there is the historic Scottish Referendum to be held on 18 September, asking the simple question – should Scotland become a separate country? For the first time 16-18 year olds will be given the vote. We can expect a lot of political and media noise as the date gets closer.

My particular predictions for the year? Well, here are five suggestions: The city centre redevelopment road works in Dundee will continue to frustrate unsuspecting drivers. Pope Francis will visit the Holy Land, bringing fresh energy to the Israeli-Palestinian quest for a lasting reconciliation. The Stock Market FTSE 100 will reach 7000 points briefly during the year.  Dundee United will be Scottish Premier League runners up and reach European competition. The voting turnout for the Referendum will be close to 65%, higher than at the last UK General Election.

New Year is also a time for resolutions, even though I suspect that many personal ones are broken within twenty-four hours! For starters I probably ought to take up more physical exercise, but business frustrates our best intentions. We have plenty to be getting on with in the Scottish Episcopal Church and in my diocese. I am looking forward to the arrival in Dundee of Dr Stephen Robson, the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Dunkeld and to collaborating with all those working for the good of our communities in the region.

Whatever your personal New Year resolutions may be I hope that 2014 will unfold in ways that enrich your life and those close to you.

Published in the Courier and Advertiser on Friday, 3rd January 2014 under "A new year,new resolutions and new hope..."

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