Benefice Letter for December

Happy New Year!!! OK so you all think I’ve got it wrong, it’s only December!! However, it is New Year in the life of the Church. The Christian Year begins on Advent Sunday, this year the 2nd December and so I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

And so Advent begins and runs until Christmas Eve. Advent is a time of preparation, a time for us to think about what is important, a time to put God first and to look forward to celebrating and remembering the joyous birth of the Christ child. How will you prepare I wonder?

I was dismayed to see TV adverts for Christmas starting on the 1st November this year – it is time that we put Christ back into Christmas rather than concentrating on materialistic hype and advertisers and shops making as much money out of this very special season as they can! It is so very important to keep a focus on Christ at Christmas. Christ is where it all began and the day, for Him, was simply his birthday – just as yours and mine are. I wonder what He would think of the way His birthday is celebrated now?

It is also the season for Carol and Christingle services. There are five Carol services in our Benefice and a Christingle service too! You will notice that there is only one Christingle service this year – there will not be one at St Peter’s Church. Instead we shall be having a ‘Living Nativity’ walking through the village from 3.30pm on Christmas Eve!! There will be two Midnight Mass services on Christmas Eve, one in St Peter’s, Shaldon and one at St Blaise, Haccombe and three services on Christmas morning. Details of all our services can be found later in this edition of our Parish News and on Shaldon churches website. I do hope that you will be able to join us for our celebrations – all are most welcome.

We are also looking forward to Shaldon singers Christmas Concert on the 8th December and The Big Christmas Concert with Ollie Stephens Christmas Band and support on the 20th December. The Soup Kitchen will be running from 9.30am until sold out on Saturday 15th December outside the Pharmacy.

Throughout November we were blessed with warm, if not sometimes wet and very windy, weather which has been amazing for this time of year but I do wonder what December might bring. If you listen to some weather forecasters they will tell you that snow and extremely cold weather is on the way! If that happens please do, as always, remember to look out for others less fortunate, those who are unable to get out and fend for themselves.

When I next write it will be in readiness for 2019, I don’t know about you but I do wonder just exactly ‘where does the time go’!!!!

In the meantime may I take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year too.

With every blessing from the Rectory.

Annie x

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