As this article is published we are having our kitchen revamped after 22 years! The project also involves raising an arch, new flooring and formalising a utility room. My wife recently read that St Albans has more house extensions and building work going on than anywhere else in the country!

The work lasts several weeks and our normal lifestyle has suddenly been totally disrupted, with dust and mess everywhere, no power, no oven, no water! We all live by routines, which make our lives orderly, and I am constantly reminded and concerned for people worldwide whose existence is far more disrupted than ours by natural disasters, terrorism, war, and despotic leaders – Syria and North Korea being on our minds of late. I have at least 30 countries on my prayer list where persecution and terrorism is rife. A television programme yesterday interviewed a lady in divided Ukraine, with the opposition territory at the end of her garden!

Imagine the stress: loss of sleep, wondering where the next food or water is coming from, if your family will come home tonight and whether your house will be shot at, bombed or flooded at any time. Thank goodness for those who donate to relieve suffering, and non-governmental organisations whose brave staff work tirelessly around the world to bring relief.

Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you . . do not let your hearts be troubled or be afraid", and I (and you?) pray that those who suffer will find this peace every day.