It’s that time of the year again .... the autumn chill has arrived, the leaves are falling fast and unfortunately the usual seasonal colds and infections are spreading like wildfires have in other parts of the world. From Brazil to Australia, and from California to Indonesia, massive wildfires have devastated large areas for forests and affected and displaced people as well as destroyed the habitat of many wildlife species.
Many of you are suffering from colds and chest infections and I am one of them. I was so ill that I had to bow out of the Remembrance Sunday celebrations which was a very difficult decision to make, but my doctor impressed on me that I had to be sensible and be fully recovered before I get back to work. So like me, you may also be hoping that you will soon be well enough to brave the pre-Christmas rush and start to prepare for the festive season. On 1st December we begin the Advent season in Church, four weeks of reflection and preparation for the big festival of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of the Christ child.
This year we will mark Advent Sunday with a special Benefice service at 10.30am in Holy Innocents Church in Gt. Barton led by the Very Rev’d Joe Hawes, Dean of our Cathedral. In the afternoon there will be a reflective service
of music for oboe, strings and organ, readings & carols for Advent at 4pm, followed by mulled wine. Please check our service rota elsewhere in this newsletter. We will be having our usual Advent Bible Study groups and our ever- popular Christmas Tree Festivals in both our churches on the 14th / 15th December weekend. On the Sunday, 15th December, Café Church will have a Christmas theme and there will be a special Christmas Evensong at 3.30pm in Gt. Barton and a Voca concert in Thurston at 4.30pm.
Our traditional 9 Lessons & Carols for the Benefice will take place at 4pm on Sunday, 22nd December in Thurston, followed by all our usual Crib service and Christmas services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We look forward to seeing you at many of these celebrations.
Details of all of these events and more can be found on our Benefice website: www.greatbartonandthurston.org and in the pew sheets and newsletters in both our churches.
I hope that you will 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 Christmas and I hope that you will have the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends.
Wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2020.
Yours in Christ, Rev’d Manette
Rev’d Manette Crossman, Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston
Tel. 01284 787554 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org