ChadNet – no 143

ChadNet – no 143 – Sunday 18th December 2022

ChadNet - the eBulletin of St Chad's Church, Pattingham
        with Patshull

Welcome to this week’s edition of ChadNet – the eBulletin of St Chad’s Church, Pattingham with Patshull.

In this week’s ChadNet:

View from the Pews

Henry Ibberson

A concert last Saturday with the Choral Society, to which I belong, was celebrating “ A French Christmas”, with carols and music by the French composer Charpentier. We had to ask the audience to park their loyalties for a couple of hours as, amongst other things, we were competing with a certain football match!

The reading we had highlighted some of the surprising, and for most of us hitherto unknown, differences between the French and English Christmas customs and traditions. Though France is only a short trip away across the Channel, when it comes to Christmas, they seem miles apart. And depending on which part of France you’re in, you might find something other than turkey on your plate at Christmas dinner, and often open presents on a different day entirely!

But it starts with letters from French children to Father Christmas, which always receive a response from Santa (or Père Noël). Since 1962, France has had a law that stipulates any letter to him must be responded to by a postcard, thus ensuring that everyone gets an answer, making many thousands of children happy – and it puts a smile on the postmens’ faces too!

Generally speaking, here in the UK Christmas is celebrated on the 25th December, but in North and North-Eastern France, children receive their presents much earlier on the 6th December, which is St Nicholas’ Day. There is an old folklore story told in France about three little children who get lost and captured by a wicked butcher, Père Fouettard. Fortunately for them, St Nicholas rescues them, which is how he became the patron saint of children. And so, every year on the night before the 6th December, children leave out a boot or a shoe, often near the fireplace or a window, for St Nicholas, who gives out gifts, sweets and gingerbread to all the good children, accompanied by Père Fouettard, who leaves the naughty ones lumps of coal!

So the British tradition of the Christmas stocking isn’t really a thing in France, though both traditions have the same origin. According to another legend, St Nicholas threw gold coins or gold balls (depending on which version of the story you are reading) through the window or down the chimney of a needy family. They landed in the family’s shoes or stockings, and this is nowadays represented by traditional stocking fillers, such as chocolate coins in gold foil and oranges.

And coming to the matter of the table, whether you’re a fan of sprouts or not, it’s safe to say that Christmas dinner in France, just as here, is one of the best meals of the year. Not necessarily, of course, just for the food, but also because it’s a time when you get to sit down and enjoy spending time with your family and friends, whom you might not otherwise see as often as you’d like. But in France, as with present-giving days, the big Christmas meal is often eaten on a different day, since the prevailing tradition is for everyone to sit down together and feast on the 24th December for a long, often luxurious meal called a Réveillon, coming from the verb ‘reveiller’, meaning to ‘wake up’ or ‘revive’. This tends to start in the evening, sometimes following a day of fasting, and goes on, often for 6 hours or more, until midnight and beyond. As well as turkey stuffed with chestnuts, you may also find lobster, snails, and oysters on the table, and for dessert, a Bûche de Noël, which is a chocolate yule log.

Of course, being France all this rich food is accompanied by fine wines and champagne, for that little extra indulgence, and it’s traditional to sing carols and songs around the table. So, as you can imagine, Christmas dinner is also a lively, and especially merry affair in France!

In Provence in the South, there is a delightful and delicious tradition of 13 desserts served at Christmas dinner, representing Jesus and his 12 disciples. There is usually a mix of figs, hazelnuts or walnuts, almonds and dried fruits as well as a traditional cake called the pompe à l’huile, which is bread-like in texture, and made with olive oil and flavoured with orange blossom. As part of this Christmas tradition, everyone has to taste each dessert in order to ensure good luck in the coming year. And we think we struggle, after our turkey, with a spoonful of Christmas pudding!

Another festive cake eaten in France is the Galette des rois, or cake of kings, which is enjoyed particularly at Epiphany on the 6th January. Made of puff pastry filled with frangipane or apples, a small charm or bean called a fève is hidden somewhere inside, and if you find the fève in your slice, you are given a gold paper crown proclaiming you king or queen for the day!

So, whilst the customs and traditions may vary, in addition to the celebration of the birth of a very special child, in France as here, the spirit of feasting and goodwill at Christmas time is a constant – and may it always remain so!

Henry Ibberson

Would you like to write a View from the Pews?

We welcome contributions for View from the Pews from anyone who would like to write one, It does not need to be on any particular subject. If you would like to write one please send it to or contact Henry Ibberson ( / 01902 701136).


We do not have a VIcar at the moment. For matters which would normally be dealt with by the Vicar the churchwardens are the first point of contact. The Vicarage phone (01902 700257) is redirected to the churchwardens. When they are not available a message can be left on the voicemail and they will return the call when they are available. Emails to will be received by the churchwardens.

Contact details for church officers can be found on the Contacts page of the church website. You can use if you are nore sure who to contact and the churchwardens will be able to forward it to the correct person.

Notices, which should be received by Friday evening for inclusion in that week’s ChadNet, and other communications in relation to ChadNet should be sent to Articles for the magazine should be sent to (note – this is different to the address used before November 2020 which no longer works).

Notices, which should be received by Friday evening for inclusion in that week’s ChadNet, and other communications in relation to ChadNet should be sent to

Articles for the magazine should be sent to (note – this is different to the address used before November 2020 which no longer works).

Sunday 18th December – Fourth Sunday of Advent

At 10 am there will be a service led by the Youth Group in church.The theme of the service is Peace at Christmas. This will be followed by a service of Holy Communion, led by Revd. Sue Watson, for those who wish to stay. After the whole service there will be seasonal refreshments and tea and coffee.

The Christmas Tree Festival continues in church from 11.30 am to 5 pm.

At 6.30 pm the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, led by Iain Coleman, will be held in church.

This week

The church will be open every day. Look out for the “church open” sign outside the porch.

Monday is the copy date for the January magazine. Send articles to Mike Moss at

On Tuesday Prayers for Peace will be said in church at 6 pm. Prayers for Peace now takes place on Tuesdays only during the winter months. Please do join us and if you would like more information or are willing to lead a session, please contact Mary Hayward (). (There will be no Prayers for Peace next week – 27th).

On Tuesday evening there is a PCC meeting.

On Wednesday there will be a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer, led by Revd James Makepeace, in church at 10.00 am which will be followed by tea, coffee and cake.
After the service the church will be open from 10.30 am until at least 11.30 am as a Place of Welcome when anyone who wants to will be welcome to share in the coffee, cake and chat, whether they have been to the service or not. The church heating will be on so those attending will be warm as well as receiving a warm welcome.
(There will be no service or Place of Welcome next week – 28th).

Saturday is Christmas Eve.

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th December – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

At 4 pm on Christmas Eve the Crib Service, led by Lisa Ainsworth, takes place in church. Join Joseph and Mary on the journey to Bethlehem and help us to build our Crib Scene in Church.

At 11.30 pm  on Christmas Eve the “Midnight” Communion Service, led by Rt Revd Clive Gregory, the Bishop of Wolverhampton, takes place in church.

At 10 am on Christmas Day there will be a Christmas Morning Communion Service led by Rt Revd Janet McFarlane, Canon Custos at Lichfield Cathedral.

There will be no evening service on Christmas Day.

Century Club

Annual subscriptions for the Century Club are now due.

  • Payment of £60 can be made by bank transfer to
  • Account name: Pattingham Parochial Church Council
  • Sort Code: 20-97-78
  • Account No: 50655023
  • Payment reference: Centuryclub

Due to recent deaths and resignations there will be a number of vacancies from December. If you would like to join the Century Club at a cost of £60 per year or for any further information please contact Alan Smith on 07757 688518 or

Food Bank Donations for The Well

The box for donations for the Food Bank at The Well in Wolverhampton is at the back of the church. Details of the items wanted are on the table and can also be seen on the church website at <>.

Reverse Advent Calendar

The Reverse Advent Calendar lists items for each day. We are encouraged to donate those items to The Well. They can be put in the box at the back of the church or, if collection is required, please contact Alan Smith on 07757 688518.

The items listed for this week are:

  • 18th December – microwave rice
  • 19th December – tinned tomatoes
  • 20th December – pasta sauce
  • 21st December – tinned tomatoes
  • 22nd December – deodorant
  • 23rd December – tinned fruit
  • 24th December – give by text (donate via text: £3. text WELL2 to 70331)
  • 25th December – Christmas Blessings

For more information see <>

From the Memorial Book

Those whose anniversaries occur between 11th and 25th December.

Eliza Newton – 16th December 1953
Brian John Darrell – 16th December 2013
Raymond William Haden – 17th December 2005
Margaret Alice Gardener – 19th December 2003
Stanley Charles Bentley – 21st December 1989
Elsie May Nickholds – 21st December 1999
Audrey Mary Vaughan – 21st December 2008
John Stanley Scriven – 22nd December 2008
Graham Bartlett Smith – 22nd December 2019
Dorothy Shepherdson – 23rd December 1995
Dorothy Amy Harris – 24th December 1977
Ruby Sampson – 24th December 2007
Thomas Howe Pattison – 25th December 1994

You can see all the pages of the Memorial Book on the Memorial Book Online page of the Church website.

Resources for worship and prayer at home

Some of resources which can be used at home are listed on the Resources Available Online and the Resources Available for Children, Young People and Families pages of the website.

For those who are unable to attend church there are still a number of services which are available online, including a weekly service on the Church of England website.

Giving to the church

Details of the various ways in which you can give can be found on the Giving page of the website.

We have a JustGiving page to enable people to make one off donations. It’s at You will be asked if you want to make a contribution on top of your donation. If you do it will go to JustGiving and not to charity. If you do not want to make such a contribution select “other”. If you are a taxpayer please consider gift aiding your donation.

You can make a bank transfer to our bank account (Account name: Pattingham Parochial Church Council – Sort Code: 20-97-78 Account No: 50655023).

If you are paying by cheque please make the cheque payable to “Pattingham PCC” or “Pattingham Parochial Church Council“.


This bulletin is sent to those who have requested it. We now have 113 subscribers but there may still  be some people who are not aware of it and would wish to receive it. The weekly bulletin for each Sunday will normally be sent on the preceding Friday or Saturday. Additional bulletins may be sent if required. It is only being sent to those who have requested it.

If you know of anyone who might be interested please tell them about it and ask them to sign up using the form on the website ( or by email to

St Chad’s Church, Pattingham with Patshull Registered charity no 1151604