Rev Jo’s Letter – Dec 2020

What are we doing about the Carol Service? Is there a Midnight Mass this year? And a Christingle? I’m asked this almost every day and as I write, I have  absolutely no idea.

I have listed some of these and the other December services in the usual place on p.16, but whether they will take place is an unknown. There won’t be a Christingle, I’m afraid, because we can’t accommodate the usual huge number under current social distancing rules, and there won’t be any Carol Services unless the no singing rule is lifted. So all I can do is plan and hope that there will be some form of worship in our churches. 

I hope you can make sense of the service list  – the right hand column is ‘what we will do if churches are still closed’. See notice boards for the latest information—our government gives us very little notice when it implements change so even if we are allowed to hold services we may not have time to prepare for them.

Since the November lockdown we have resumed Zoom services, and this will be the fall-back solution for Christmas, so do let me know by email if you’d like to join in one of these and you’ll receive a link on the day. All you have to do is click on it, (as long as you have downloaded Zoom, which is very easy.) Do ask if you need help with this.

I’m not sure whether to be amused or annoyed by the populist cries for the government  to restore our ‘traditional  Christmas,’ as I read daily in the news.  Christmas is a Christian festival and no virus, government or Prime  Minister can ever diminish the splendour of the Incarnation—of the Light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot out it out.

Restoring shopathons and eatathons, on the other hand,  is something very different… count me out of both.

The last eight months have been very difficult for so many and I am aware that many of you are weary, anxious and feeling low in spirits. For those with financial insecurity looming, worries about elderly relatives, fears of redundancy or trying to keep a small business afloat, it is even worse. You are all remembered in our prayers daily and especially on Sundays. If you know of anyone who you would like to add to the list, please let me know.

Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of the child at Bethlehem, a time to take stock of our spiritual selves and to reflect on Last Things; not altogether cheerful on the face of it, but if we hold to our hope in God’s promises, we have no need to feel downcast.

Advent calls us to hope in the promise that God is calling us to greater things and will be with us as we live them. Hope is the recall of good in the past, on which we base our expectation of good in the future, however bad the present. (Jean West)