Letter for December
Dear friends, As the days get ever shorter we look now towards Advent and Christmas. Advent often gets lost in the frantic activity of Christmas preparations, but it is 4 weeks of to contemplate the wonder of God being born as one of us.
“This most tremendous tale of all…
a baby in an ox’s stall?
The maker of the stars and sea
Become a child on earth for me? [John Betjeman]
A human baby, vulnerable, fragile, as any newborn, trusted to the love and care of Mary and the carpenter Joseph.
This year on Advent Sunday, December 2nd, we will send out a ‘Travelling Crib’ from the family service at St. James; this set of knitted nativity figures will travel around the benefice seeking rest and shelter, as Mary and Joseph must have relied on local hospitality as they walked the road from Nazareth to hilly Bethlehem. Each evening they will arrive at a new lodging to seek a welcome. The last family to look after them will bring them to the 5.00 pm Christingle Service at St. James at the end of their journey.
Also on Dec. 2nd there will be a Taize service; candlelight and simple repeated chants interspersed with silence help us into deeper prayer.
On the 16th of December - 3.00 pm at High Wych and 6.30pm at Eastwick there will be Community carol services and children will be able to parade around the churches with battery night lights and we will put some of the figures in the stables ready for Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Eve Christingle services bring us the simple joy of worship with candles and carols before the excesses of food and presents on Christmas Day! and help raise funds for the Children’s Society, which cares for vulnerable children in the UK. Midnight Mass at 11.30 pm in St. James is followed the next morning by Christmas services at 9.30a.m in High Wych and 11.15 a.m. in St. Mary’s.
Sadly after a huge amount of time and money spent in preparation, Christmas is so often a disappointment. The advertiser’s ideal family Christmas in reality often descends into stress and argument. Our consumerism gives us a few days pleasure but it doesn’t fill our longing for what will really satisfy, something deeper. We are created for relationship with the Divine and ‘our hearts are restless until they rest in God’ [Augustine of Hippo 354–430]. Re-discovering the ‘reason for the season’ gives it back its focus – we are celebrating a ‘great and mighty wonder’ – dare to believe that our creator God loves us deeply enough to born in Palestine 2000 years ago to live and die a human being to bring us home to his peace and presence. Join us to share the celebration! You will be very welcome at any of the village churches.
God bless you and yours Revd Wendy
Baptisms 16th September 2018 at St. James, High Wych Jean -Vincent Tolentino [adult] Cristiano Elvis Tolentino born 2 November 2009, son of Jon and Eda Tolentino of Broadfields
30th September 2018 at St. James Freddie Peter Samuel Barnardt born 27th March 2018, youngest son of Camilla and Eugene Barnardt of Bishop’s Stortford No Weddings
Interment of ashes
Brenda Myrtle Pegram Died 25th June 2018, aged 79 years. Interred with her parents Leonard and Dorothy Pegram in St. Botolph Churchyard on 12th September 2018
Anthony Michael Johnson 19/9/18 St James Raymond Alan Kempthorne 16 /5/18 interred St.James 28/10/18 Joan Ann Willitt 9/11/18
The Travelling Crib Find the real spirit of Christmas! A nativity set of knitted figures will be travelling around the Benefice this Advent. They will set out from St.James after 9.30 am service 2nd December and return at the Christingle Service at 5.00 on Christmas Eve. They would love to visit all kinds of homes -single people, couples, families; young and old - if you could make space in your home for one night, then take them to the next house on the list the next afternoon / evening, Words and carols will travel with the crib for you to use. If you would like to be part of the journey please reply to email@example.com or ring 01279 726476
2nd December 9.30am Family Service & Sendong out of the Travelling Crib - St James, High Wych
16th December 3.00pm Community Carols with children's torchlight procession in St James
6.30pm Community Carol Service at St Botolphs, Eastwick
24th December 3.00pm CHRISTINGALE SERVICE, St Mary's, Gilston
5.00pm CHRISTINGALE SERVICE, St James, High Wych
25th December 9.30am Christmas Eucharist, St James, High Wych
11.15am Christmas Eucharist, St Mary's, Gilston.
For all other December services please look under Services.