After Epiphany please come and help the Friends clear the Christmas decorations from St Ippolyts Church starting at 09:30, Monday 7th January 2019
After embarrassing our Churchwarden, Michael, with a demonstration of how to wait, Revd Ginni demonstrates how to wait patiently for a face of foam!
Come along and get into the festive spirit!
On Friday 21stDecemberwe will once again be carolling our way around the Broad Meadow estate to raise funds for the UK Sepsis Trust. We meet at Barbara's (1 Ash Drive) at 6.15pm. and work our way around the estate. All carollers are invited back to Barbara's for mulled wine and mince pies (or squash and biscuits) when we finish. Everyone is invited to come along and join in, the aim is to be loud enough to be heard and to enjoy ourselves - we make no pretence at being a choir so it doesn't matter if your singing voice is not great. The more carollers we have the better we sound and young children really enjoy the excitement of being out after dark! Children of primary school age or younger need to bring their own adult.
If you live on the estate please listen out for us and be prepared to answer the door to our team of collectors.
Barbara Thomas (H.421647)
We will be decorating the Church for Christmas on Saturday 22ndDecember from 9.30am. Please bring greenery to put around the church and on the window sills and white or silver flower arrangements. Come and help if you possibly can so that the Church will be ready for our Christmas celebrations.
We will need plenty of help to clear up the Church on Monday
7thJanuaryfrom 9.30am. Please make a note in your new diary and don't leave this important task to the 'faithful few'!
Date of next meeting:
Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday 22ndJanuary 2019 at 10.30am. for 11.00am. at Thistley House, Gosmore, home of Anne Steel.
Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone
With the New Year not far away it is time to ask people if they would like to sponsor/continue to sponsor the church floodlights that are on every evening. The current floodlights were installed and ran on Christmas Eve 1999 for the first time. We have had some problems over the years, but the lights are now 19 years old. Some may have noticed that one of the lights which lights the west end of the tower is missing as it was found smashed. Needless to say, the same type of light is no longer available.
We have therefore decided to replace all the floodlights with LED systems and the contractor who installed all the LED lighting in church is going to do this. One of the benefits of doing this is that all the lamps will give the same colourand this should not change whereas the metal halide lamps in the current fixtures become more yellow and less bright as they age.
This year we are continuing our sponsorship programme for the lights. It is still £15 per weekand you may want to sponsor in memory of people, events, etc. You may select as many weeks as you wish. I ideally like cheques made out to ‘St Ippolyts Church’ so that I can keep accurate track of payments. If you would like to sponsor as ‘anonymous’ then that is fine too.
By the time you see this the sign-up board will be at the back of the church along with a calendar showing the week numbers highlighted. If you have any queries, please let me know.
All of your wonderful shoeboxes have now left on their journeys to the people who will receive them but, when I drafted this article for PAX, I was surrounded by all 68 of them stacked in my living room for safe keeping. It really is quite amazing just how much room 68 shoeboxes take up. (Many more and I would have been in danger of losing sight of Christine)!!
A huge thank you to all of you who have contributed in so many ways by knitting, donating and actually doing all of the boxes. This year roughly ⅔of the boxes were for families and ⅓were for the elderly. What a huge difference they are going to make to so many people (both young and old) once they arrive this Christmas. So, on behalf of Link to Hope, THANK YOU EVERYONE.
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
As is usual at this time of year, I’ve already started to flap and twirl as my ‘to do’ list grows longer and Christmas looms ever nearer. I’m someone who takes a while to get things into perspective sometimes and until that moment happens I have a tendency to do what my children call my ‘headless chicken’ act!! This usually involves stomping purposefully from room to room whining about how much I have to do whilst not actually doing anything productive at all!!
This was the scene in The Vicarage the other day as witnessed by my 14 month old grandson Edward and faithful hound Toby. Toby is well used to moments like these and sensing that a walk was probably not on the cards right now, took himself sensibly off to his bed in the other room. Edward, on the other hand, found it hilarious and decided that blowing dribbly raspberries at me whilst throwing his toys over the fireguard was the best way forward!
It’s hard not to laugh when faced with an innocent child who thinks your adult paddy is funny, so I picked him up for a cuddle and as he diligently smeared my clergy shirt with drool, I found myself thinking of just how little a child needs to be happy. Warmth, food and someone to love them and they’re pretty content most of the time.
With the writing of this article at the forefront of my mind (I was late for the deadline yet again - sorry Clare!) my thoughts turned to Christmas and another baby - Jesus. All our depictions of the baby Jesus show him tucked up snugly in soft, warm straw being gazed upon by adoring people and surrounded by cute fluffy animals.....but it simply wasn’t like that really, was it?
For a start, Joseph and the heavily pregnant Mary traipsed for miles on a donkey to register for the census. Now, having ridden a horse myself this summer, I can assure you that being heavily pregnant and bouncing along on a donkey wouldn’t have been a pleasurable activity!! Once there, they had the stress of finding somewhere to stay and ended up with the ‘budget room’, bedded down with the livestock where Mary gave birth to her baby. The chances of the straw being clean and smelling of freshly talcum-powdered baby or that there wasany real warmth, given that stable doors aren’t known for being draught proof, are all highly unlikely. But this is the image that we all,
me included, conjure up for ourselves at Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Saviour.
Our ideals and our realities rarely match up; they didn’t when Jesus was born and they don’t for us today. Often this is even more evident at Christmas when our ideals of the whole family sitting down together for
a lovely meal and snuggling down in a cosy room to open presents from under the fairy light festooned tree are met with the realities of frazzled, overworked parents praying that the turkey will cook before
the kids murder each other with the latest gadget that someone thought to be a suitable present, whilst the dog is fusing the Christmas tree lights with his leg-cocking antics.......or is this just MY Christmas!!!
My point is that, if we go along with the ‘commercial’ images of a clean and sparkly baby Jesus, we lose sight of his reality. Jesus didn’t come into the world to fulfil our human ideals and ignore our realities. He was born in a filthy stable, to parents who must have been fraught with worry and unsure of their future, in order to show us the love of a God who isn’t an ideal but rather a true reality and who will guide us through whatever life throws at us.
So, this year, whether your Christmas is warm and cosy or whether it is frazzled, fearful and uncertain, remember that Jesus knows your reality and offers you a love and a hope that no amount of money can buy.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year!
With love - Ginni
Anne Steel, our intrepid Director of Music and PCC member, volunteered to be framed as a Saint during todays service. Well done Anne it was well deserved!