At this time of year, probably many of you will have Christmas organised. I have friends who finished their present shopping in October. They’re annoyingly efficient! Me, well, I’ve not actually braved the shops yet but we have got some time to go….
Watching and waiting are two things we’re not very good at these days. Everything is instant, and this is what we’ve come to expect. I’m just as guilty as anyone else. My smart phone pings me my emails and if I’ve not answered within an hour or so, people start to panic. If I want an answer to a problem, I search online and if the solution isn’t instantly obvious, I get annoyed.
All of this makes the observance of Advent really difficult.
We’re going into what the church calls a ‘penitential season’. This is where we pause to reflect, to prepare for what is to come ‘with acts of charity and kindness’. We are to examine ourselves and remind ourselves of the real meaning of this season. Hard, when the world has galloped on already and pretty much declared that it’s Christmas.
It’s not. It’s Advent. One of my favourite times of the year. It’s as if the waiting makes the long expected arrival of Christmas all the more wonderful, colourful and joyful.
Try it. You might like it.
I guess that today we would call it ‘practicing the pause’.
At St Mary’s, we have a great Advent planned, mostly involving lovely services, drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies. It’d be great if you’d like to join us.
As the weather turns cold, as the frosts return and as the nights get darker, the light at the end of the lane continues to shine, as it has for hundreds of years. This light is the light of Christ, dispelling all darkness and sorrow. Gosh, do we need that this Advent and Christmas. As we get ready to celebrate, we remember those who will not be comfortable, well fed and warm, surrounded by friends and family. We pray for peace and peacemakers especially over the coming weeks.
May God bless you and all who you love during this season of watching and waiting.
Canon Nathan Jarvis Rector of St Mary’s Church, Alderley
Firstly you will want to get your diaries out.
Services in December are rich and varied, it would be lovely to have a full Church for all of them. Michael and his team are working hard to have the Church decorated in time.
For the first three Sunday mornings at 9.45am. We have guest speakers focussing on the Advent themes of faith, hope and love from a theological, charitable and environmental approach. There is mulled wine and mince pies after each morning service. SEE BELOW
Advent Sunday, 3rd December 6.30pm, The Deanery Choir will sing at the Churches Together Evensong Preacher, The Revd Canon Dr Ryan Green, Director of Vocations and Canon Theologian, LLandaff Diocese.
Sunday 10th December, Nine Lessons and Carols, 6.30pm Followed by refreshments. This promises to be a lovely family event.
Sunday 17th December, Christingle, 6.30pm. Followed by ‘prayers around the tree’ (around a 45-minute child-friendly service). Don’t miss it.
Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December.10.00 am.note the venue! Joint Morning Service with St Philips, Alderley Edge, 10.00am
Crib Service, December 24th. 2.00pm Child friendly, around a 45-minute child-friendly service,
Midnight Mass, December 24th 10.00 pm . This is a lovely way to Celebrate the arrival of Christmas.
Christmas Day, 25th December. 9.45am Eucharist…do Come for your Christmas Communion or Blessing.
& Don’t forget:
Coffee at De Trafford …. December 12th 10.30 am All welcome.
The Parish Hall. The Parish Hall is to be closed from December 31st. Some pointing work has been started and it is very much hoped that the refurbishment programme can finally start. To this end a good sort out has been going on in the background.
The Churchyard recently work started to get the much needed mowing and tidying done. Mr Ivan Wright has kept it looking marvellous for a long time but he has taken a well-earned retirement from the task. He has been a hard act to follow. Thank you, Ivan, for all your work.
News of Parishioners. We have news that a number of our frailer congregants of many years, are needing greater care than in years past. Some have been in hospital, others moved into care homes. Your contact with each of them is appreciated. If the frail includes you…It is brave to know when that extra care is needed and I’m sure everybody wishes you well.
Do you know anyone who would like to receive this email? Please ask them to let Nathan or me know.
I do hope we see many of you over the coming weeks.