Churches in this Benefice follow the C of E safeguarding policy



January 2021 Letter

Dear Friends,    

  It is coming up to Christmas as I write this letter.  St James at High Wych have already had their Carol Service on the 13th of this month, the service was different to previous years, obviously no singing from the congregation, but the choir sang, and it was beautiful, the singing was the best I have every heard at St. James, so a big thank you.   
The way we have all adapted and rearranged our lives to keep our families, friends and ourselves safe since last March is amazing.  We have managed to have church services in all three churches safely when permitted, and some have attended these.  Services have been streamed every week since the beginning of April.  We have had to adapt to much more technology in our lives by watching services in our own homes and have met people and have meetings via Zoom.   

Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and trusting in God to give us patience to wait until we have all been vaccinated, then we can think about a future where we can reach out and touch a loved one again. 
  
The High Wych village on the 12th lit up all the Christmas trees made in parking cones, that village and church people had made, it looks an absolute treat with the decorated trees twinkling away, there are so many trees, it must have taken many dedicated hours to assemble them, well done to everybody involved.  And as we looking at the trees Father Christmas passed by to give added excitement to the event.   

Gilston and Eastwick are to have their Community Carol Service on the 20th December, it is to be an outside service around the War Memorial at Eastwick and it will be (or was depending when you receive your magazine) at 5.30pm.

We are PLANNING to have Christingle services again this year (2020), they will be different because of Covid 19 restrictions, but nevertheless there will be the Nativity story, carols (choir only) and Christingles.  By the time you read this, you will know if it all worked out or not. Times are 3pm and 5pm at both Gilston and High Wych churches on Christmas Eve.

The Bible stories through December and January are all very familiar to us, Mary and Joseph travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem for a census, the birth of Jesus in a stable, the angel Gabrielle, telling the shepherds that a special baby had been born and to go and see him.  Then a bit later the wise men who followed a new star to its destination in Bethlehem, where they found the baby, born to be King of the Jews, and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.   

Then we come to the part of the story that could easily be part of a modern-day thriller, The evil king Herod plotted to have the new born baby killed to protect his role as king.  Fortunately, Joseph was warned of his plot and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt and stayed there until Herod died, in the meantime Herod had all the baby boys killed trying to find Jesus but he failed to do so.  If you think the Bible is a boring read, try reading the first few chapters of Matthew, I am sure you will change your mind.   

I do wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas, many of us will be celebrating Christmas alone or with very few others but staying safe and being patient is part of our lives for now, so let us look forward to a bright new healthy future in 2021, with lots to look forward to and friends and family to catch up with.  

  Love and blessing to you all,   
  Joy