The time leading up to Christmas was very busy, there was always something to plan, do or attend. Firstly, as Amy mentioned last time, we had the local schools come in to do their Christingle/Carol services. I was only able to attend one for its entirety due to my radio show and assisting with decorating Holy Trinity Church but the one I attended was wonderful and I have been told the others were as well. On the morning of Tuesday 16th we did a short service for a toddler group we help with. I shared a bit about the Christmas story using the Nativity figures we had been using at All Age Worship and Amy led a few action songs. The leaders then led some carols and handed out some little gifts for the children. I really enjoyed this as it is a great opportunity to tell not just the children but the parents and carers too about Jesus.
On two Wednesday’s leading up to Christmas Eve a group from the local churches sang carols in some of the pubs in the town. They have been doing this for a number of years so it was great for us to be involved and to have organised it. The Saturday before Christmas was especially busy. In the morning we helped prepare for the 7Corners Christmas party; mainly buttering bread and filling sandwiches. Then in the afternoon we attended said party. We played some Scrabble with the youth and despite a good start I lost or at least thats what Amy tells me, I had to leave before the game finished so someone took over for me. Why did I leave? That afternoon was also the Walking Nativity where people dress up as the people in the story and process through town. I got to be Joseph for my second year so led the procession through town with Mary, a life size papiermache donkey and the shepherds complete with sheep along the High Street and through the market eventually arriving at the Abbots garden behind St Mary’s. We sang carols as we went and once we had all arrived at the ‘Stable’, the kings took a different route handing out chocolate coins to people as they went, we sang a few more carols before having some mulled wine and heading back.
On the 21st we held our last All Age Worship before our Christmas break. We concluded the Advent reflections we had been doing from Godly play, finishing with the Christmas story. I really enjoyed and benefited from these reflections. It helped me to prepare properly for Christmas with my eyes fixed on God rather than the presents and food. I hope those who attended found similarly.
Monday 22nd was my last day before my week long break, we spent it singing carols in the old peoples homes around the town. It was really tiring but those there seemed to really enjoy it and appreciate our presence with them. I really enjoyed my Christmas break and got to spend time with my family and girlfriend. Amy has gone away for New years so this past week has been quiet since nothing has restarted yet. I have been using the time to plan for our new ventures this January.
This year we will be continuing with our Afternoon Tea and Games on a Tuesday afternoon and All Age Worship on a Sunday morning. We are also continuing with the various groups we help out with. We are also starting some new things; Creative Prayer Evenings to be held once monthly in Holy Trinity which give a space for people to come and pray and spend time in God’s presence either using the stations around the church or doing their own thing if they want. Cafe Church is also starting on a Sunday Afternoon at 3pm at Christchurch Hall. The idea of this is to give those who have left the Church or have never been, an easy entry point to explore the Christian faith in all its dimensions. Set out like a cafe, tea and coffee and biscuits/cake will be available and worship will take on a more modern style than is currently present in the Anglican Churches of the town. The main part though is the talk which each week will tackle common objections and questions about Christianity. This will be good for both those exploring the faith and those already in it as we all have questions.
Please do join us for any of our events, all are welcome and we’d love to see you there. Now to God be all Glory.