Benefice of Holy Innocents, Great Barton and St Peter's, Thurston

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Rev'd Manette's Letter for December 2018

26 November 2018

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images13From Remembrance-tide with All Saints’, All Soul’s and Remembrance Sunday we are now moving towards Advent, a time of waiting. But on the four Sundays of Advent we also remember the Patriarchs, the Prophets, John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus with the four candles we light on the Advent wreath. And on Christmas Day we light the 5th candle which is white and which symbolises Jesus, the light which has come into the world.

This year we will begin Advent with a Concert by The Harvesters on 1st December at St. Peter’s Church. You can find details for all our events elsewhere in this Newsletter and also on the website: www.greatbartonandthurston.org. We will again light up the church with our Christmas Tree Festival and we hope that many of the trees will stay in church until after all the Christmas services have taken place. As part of our Christmas Tree Festival we are having our Carol Service. Come and sing some of your favourite Carols as part of this traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols!

On the 3rd Sunday of December it’s Café Church at the Church Institute in Gt. Barton as usual, but this time with a special guest! Bishop Martin will be with as at Café Church before he leads the Confirmation Service at Holy Innocents Church. Have you ever thought about being confirmed? Do get in touch if you would like to talk about this or if you have any questions.

During Advent we will also be arranging a Posada. The tradition of Posada started in Mexico and it is a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's Census journey to Bethlehem. As I write this a few people are busy knitting the figures so that they will be ready to start their journey soon. The word posada means ‘inn’ - May and Joseph were seeking shelter, a room to stay as they awaited the birth of their first child. We hope that our Posada figures, Mary, Joseph and the donkey will travel from home to home around the parish and the school before they arrive in church at the Crib Service on Christmas Eve - 3pm at St. Peter’s. Everyone is welcome to this service and we need lots of helpers to help us put all the crib figures into the crib! We’ll hear the nativity story and sing some of the familiar carols and you may find that there are some biscuits to take home as well. 

I hope that you may find some peace and quiet time for reflection during what is usually a very busy time. Advent is not just for rushing around but also a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child at Christmas. We look forward to seeing you at our Advent and Christmas services and events!

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2019.

Yours in Christ,

Rev’d Manette

Rev’d Manette Crossman, Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston Tel. 01284 787554 • Email: revmcrossman@gmail.com