Thoughts from The Vicarage with December dates and Happy new Church Year!
Greetings and Happy new church year! Please find attached Pews News.
Now that Christmas is nearly upon us we are in that time when the church has started a new year with four weeks of quiet reflection while the rest of the world has its Christmas decorations up and is already thinking about the post-Christmas sales!
Having worked in schools for most of my life I don’t find this too challenging, rather a reminder that in Advent the idea is to prepare ourselves spiritually and physically for the few weeks in the church diary, when we remember that astonishing moment in history, when God chose to become man.
As an aside, our own long suffering children celebrating Mary & Joseph’s arrival, along with all the shepherds and angels at the inn used to come home from school only to be told that Christmas won’t be beginning at home until the end of term!!!
Seriously though, whatever your situation, Advent is a good time to take stock of our lives and our Christian journey as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child Christmas. A reminder as we prepare that St Michael & All Angels Christmas Market is tomorrow, Dec 2nd 5.30 – 8pm. It’s not too late to join in with one of the Advent groups, Tuesdays 2pm at Christine’s home and Wednesdays @ 7 at The Vicarage. If you prefer to reflect alone or can’t make either of those times and would like a slightly more literature based read, I highly recommend Malcolm Guite’s ‘Waiting on The Word’. Malcolm uses a poem chosen especially for each day and reflects upon it through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. It also features the 7 ‘O’ Antiphons which I love! If you want to find out more read on next week!
December diary dates … there’s something for everyone – come and join the celebration:
- Carol singing Thursday 15th and Tuesday 20th from 5.30pm-6.30 pm Meet at the vicarage and return there for drinks and nibbles; carriages at 7.30;
- Dressed up Nativity Thursday 22ndDecember 4pm for all children and those young at heart – come ready dressed as shepherds, angels, Mary, Joseph or donkeys etc ;
- Christingles Dec 4thEastbury, December 24th Lambourn both at 4pm;
- Crib service 4pm Dec 24th Eastbury;
- Carol services Dec 11th East Garston and Dec 18th Lambourn both at 6pm.
If you’d like to know more or would like to help out in any way please let me know!
Thank you for the wonderful response to last week’s suggestion of remembering others. The West Berks foodbank collection boxes in each church are bulging! And it’s really not too late to donate some extra special Christmas foody items if you are able so to do.
Finally, a reminder that St James in Eastbury is opening December with a Christingle this Sunday. All are welcome to this delightful service as we watch and wait together for the renewal of our hope through the wonder and mystery of the Nativity.
Looking forward to greeting you over the weekend, meanwhile,
Revd Julie Mintern
Vicar Lambourn Valley Benefice