Christmas is coming – and I know that there is nothing you or I can do to change that!
This year, too, we will all have a new Government for Christmas – whether that is a welcome present or not!
But I am tempted to remind you that a Government is for life (or at least for five years), not just for Christmas, so do choose wisely!
Not that I want to be a Grinch about things. I do enjoy all the fun and the fuss that goes into Christmas – but I do also want to spend a good and thoughtful Advent before we get there.
Advent begins this year on December 1 and runs all the way through until the fourth Sunday – which this year falls on December 22. Christmas only begins on December 24 and 25 and then extends into the New Year where it joins on to the season of Epiphany. This year we will be offering everyone the opportunity to #Follow the Star by giving away a booklet with readings and prayers to take you through the 12 days of Christmas.
But like the rest of the world, we will be anticipating Christmas in the weeks before hand with carols in three places outside of church: The Crown on December 11, the Dartmouth Arms on December 17 and the Pigot on December 18. Do come along and join in the fun!
We will as usual be holding our special Christingle Service in aid of the Children’s Society at 4pm on Sunday December 15. Writing this the day after the BBC’s Children in Need event, it is a timely reminder that there are far too many children in our country today who do not have the love and good fortune that we all hope for – whether at Christmas or at any other time of year. Let’s all do what we can to make life a bit more cheery for them.
In the New Year I will be running a small confirmation preparation group for adults. If anyone else wants to join us, it will be Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm in the Loft. And thinking forward to Lent (!) we are also planning a group to study together the Film The Theory of Everything – based on the story of the life of the scientist Stephen Hawking and what this may have to teach us about our attitude to life and faith. Look out for more details in due course.
But in the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!