As we now begin to settle into the new year, the main Welsh news headlines seem to be focusing on both the ramping up of the vaccine rollout and the increased pressures that the health services are dealing with. It’s important that whilst we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we don’t grow complacent. Let’s keep praying for an end to the virus, and for those who are battling coronavirus symptoms.

In the latest Friday press conference, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford introduced stricter measures regarding supermarkets to protect staff. The top headline on BBC Wales echoes this sentiment and shines a light on the rules regarding supermarkets and the need to continue following the government guidance. It serves as a reminder that as followers of Jesus we can be active in showing God’s love and conveying our gratitude to those working in our supermarkets.

This week in the Senedd

This Monday marked the beginning of the first full week back of the year for members of the Senedd, and the pace of politics in Wales continues forward at a great speed. On Wednesday’s health, social care and sports committee, there was a discussion regarding the health service in Wales and the year’s draft budget, where health minister Vaughan Gething revealed that in Wales we’re at over 150 per cent of our critical care capacity”. He went on to illustrate the challenge this places on Wales’ economy, stating that if the system were to get overwhelmed, it may look like the situation we saw in Italy and Spain in the first wave […] and that has very real financial consequences […] but also for next year’s budget, very real consequences too”.


At this moment, there is an incredibly difficult balancing act required between ensuring Wales’ healthcare isn’t overwhelmed and having a stable enough economy. Therefore, as politicians discuss and scrutinise the budget and the management of the health service in Wales, please pray that there would be cooperation between political parties, and that meetings would be constructive and in the interest of the public. Consider also the stress that politicians and their families are under currently. When we pray for our leaders, let us pray that they would have peace.

Next week in the Senedd

Similarly to this week, the draft budget for the next two years will be something of a filter for most of the discussions taking place. Not only has the pandemic brought about its own financial challenges for the measuring of the upcoming budget, but it has also highlighted the importance of certain issues. One issue in particular concerning the health, social care and sports committee is the funding required for mental health services. Throughout this season, the topic of mental health has been increasingly prominent in people’s lives and daily discussions, therefore it seems that next Wednesday’s discussion on how it should be funded as a service within the budget will be particularly important.

The threat of COVID-19 to physical health and the implications of various lockdowns and restrictions has resulted in many people feeling fearful and anxious. As God’s people, let’s pray for healing in people’s lives and direct them towards the hope that is found in Christ.

Public petitions

This week’s discussions on the public petitions were largely productive. There was agreement from most sides on how to tackle the issues raised by the public. One promising discussion was on the requirement for supermarkets to donate excess food to charity. There were also constructive discussions regarding the need to provide fitness activities and classes that would promote a healthy lifestyle and adhere to government guidance.

Let’s be thankful for such cooperation that deals directly with the public’s interests, and pray that politicians would act on issues according to God’s will.

Finally, amidst the important decisions being made by our political leaders, let’s continue to pray that the Senedd’s discussions are fruitful, honour God and bless this nation