#300 not out- which would make a pretty good innings total for England in the Ashes, come to think of it

Bertie says Hello

It’s Bertie. Hello.

Oh, might as well carry on, now I am here- hello, dear friends- it has been a remarkable Christmas and so lovely to see everyone after last year when congregations weren’t allowed in Church. It has been fab to see people, even at a distance, and to think that so many things are cause for hope in this Christmas Season. Thank you to everyone who has done so much to make Christmas a success and a blessing to the community and to ourselves. And thank you to everyone who left cheese boards and some of those lovely water biscuits by my little mousehole. The reason I have not come out for the last couple of days is simply that I am cosy at home and not, as some have scandalously alleged, because I am no longer able to fit through the hole.

The Feast of the Epiphany

The Epiphany comes very early this year since it can’t be celebrated after the 6th so we have to do it on the 2nd of January.

There will be services at 9.30, 10 and 11 and the Order of Service for St Paul’s is attached here:

and here is the text which will be used at the end of the Service at St Paul’s in case you want to read it through beforehand…

Other items of news and interest

An update from Bishop Hall in Madagascar, at Christmas: please note that he is only on 65- it’s not a competition, oh no, but we are 245 in the lead.

An update on this term from Soulscape, one of our three Charities at St Paul’s and St Nick’s:

And here is the latest Deanery Prayer Cycle for the Deanery: 109- not bad… but not 300…

A reminder of where we were 12 months ago and how far we have come together

from 20/12/20:

I preached this morning on the fact that God built a team of fellow- travellers around Mary even before she said Yes to God, and that she was then blessed by a series of agents of grace who were like pinpricks of light. We too have support, we too have had chance encounters with agents of grace and we can be agents of grace to others with a phone call, a letter, a memory, a prayer.

And from the 31st of December 2020- Bertie email 185:

Happy New Year, everyone, from everyone at The Rectory and all of the Clergy Team and Standing Committee.

A reminder that all three Churches in parish have decided that it is not the right time to be meeting together for worship, given the steep rise of cases of coronavirus in the local area (and, interestingly, the Diocese has now modified its advice to ask people to think carefully about public worship).

Please do keep joining in online, and please do keep talking to each other and supporting each other, and praying for each other as well.

Some of that is still true for us in 2021 and 2022– the good wishes for the New Year and the encouragement to keep checking in with people- can we also issue a challenge and encouragement to everyone who gets this email to think about someone they could write to to thank them- it could be a Councillor, or a GP practice, or a Nursing Home, or a Supermarket, or a School, or a teacher, or someone who runs your group at Church- send them a note, give them some flowers, let them know that they way that they spoke with you and cared made all of the difference in the world.

Let’s start 2022 in the way we mean to go on- with thanksgiving and determined to do what we can to shine a little of Christ’s light in the world around us.

It is a joy and pleasure to be part of the parish- thank you for making it so much fun and for the way in which we all combine and conspire to make our faith real and active in the world.

Richard and the Staff Team

pp Bertie the Churchmouse

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