As I write this article, the decision of the new US President Donald Trump to restrict travel into the United States has sent shockwaves through the international community and serves to remind us all that we live in an increasingly unpredictable world.
Thankfully Monmouthshire is still blessed with community spirit. The last weekend of January was an historic day for my home village of Raglan with the long awaited dedication of St Cadoc's new church roof (and kitchen) at a moving service taken by the Bishop of Monmouth, the Right Rev. Richard Pain.
In a fitting sermon, the Bishop told the clergy to "get out of the way" when new people are first attracted into the church and to let the building speak for itself. We are certainly blessed in Monmouthshire with some beautiful, historic buildings which could say so much if only they could talk...
It's been a pleasure helping with the fundraising over the last few years. A big thank you to everyone who has worked so hard.
It was also good to attend the recent FUW farmers’ breakfast at Llanellen village hall, one of several staged across Wales over recent weeks. We were treated to a fantastic meal that certainly set us up for the day. I particularly enjoyed the homemade marmalade! It was also a valuable opportunity to discuss current issues affecting the farming industry including the consequences of the decision to leave the European Union and particularly the various options for replacing the controversial Common Agricultural Policy. I will, of course, be arguing the case for Monmouthshire farmers to receive the best possible deal under the new funding arrangements.
And whilst we’re on the issue of “Brexit”, I for one was relieved that Members of Parliament were finally given the chance to debate the decision to leave the EU. Although a majority of the British people voted to leave, if the referendum was about returning powers to Parliament it would have been bizarre had elected members not been able to contribute to this process.
We may be leaving the EU but the new Wales Bill, agreed by the Welsh and UK Governments, will bring us further powers.
We may live in uncertain times, but the Wales Bill does at least show what can be achieved when people from different sides come together for the common good. It’s now up to us to make it work.