When I was a kid in Barnsley, I spent most of my spare time working on our family farm, supervised by my grandad. He was never slow to offer his version of Yorkshire wisdom. At this time of year, he’d remind everyone that, ‘A farmer should, on Candlemas Day, have half their corn and a half their hay’. As Candlemas is roughly the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, I can see that this makes sense.

But what made no sense was grandad’s firm belief that Candlemas Day predicted the weather for the rest of the winter. He’d say, ‘If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have another fight. If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, Winter won’t come again’. We’ll see.

There’s no doubt that Candlemas marks a pivot point in the year. It falls between Christmas and Easter, where we shift our gaze from Christ’s birth, and ahead, through Lent and Passiontide. For the St Martin’s, Charity Candlemas marks out pivot point. We’ve all but finished last years Christmas Appeal, raising well over £4m; our barn is full. Now is our time to pivot, look forward and plan to use this money well. Our hope is for a better time, when everyone has a safe place to call home and the support they need.

Tim Bissett

St Martin’s Charity