As you know, Christmas is all about lists. So here is my list- the list given to me by the Rector as he ran past me on the way to raid the plates of fresh mince pies at Coffee and Chat this afternoon. Not that he brought one back for me. Or took me with him. He was in too much of a rush for that. Not that I’m hurt. No, no, not hurt at all- I didn’t want to go to the Christmas party with sparking juice and mince pies and bingo and speeches and singing. Not at all. Not even a little bit.
Anyway, while he is polishing off the last carrot stick, here is what he asked- nay, ordered- me to pass on to you, my faithful friends, who would never ever take me for granted like he does.
Remind people about Nine Lessons and Carols at St Paul’s on Sunday evening at 6.15pm, followed by mince pies in the Rooms- the perfect, timeless way of stepping into Christmas. There are some very challenging and beautiful pieces of music on the menu- and this year it is being held jointly with All Saints.
Pass on the Livestream link for Nine Lessons- (2626) 9 Lessons and Carols (18/12/2022) – YouTube
And pass on the Livestream link for Midnight Mass- (2626) Midnight Mass (24/12/2022) – YouTube
Ensure that people know that I will be doing a short Intro to Matthew’s Gospel over coffee on Sunday morning in the Parish Rooms- offering some helpful things to bear in mind as we read though Matthew in the Church Year to come.
Pass on the message from Sue Davenport that Church flower arranging is happening on Friday the 23rd of December from 10am and all helpers will be welcome, whatever your level of experience and creativity.
Find volunteers to take part in the short, light-hearted Nativity play during the 5pm Christingle Service- we need someone to say about three lines and someone else to be Mary, with about 8 lines. Scripts can be clutched throughout. Please speak to Richard the Director to apply for an audition- actually, no audition will be required. It’s enough to be alive and willing.
Enthuse about the amazing Walking Group which meets regularly for walking and companionship. Liz Gallagher is a good person to talk to if you would like to find out more and join the WhatsApp group where things are organised.
Make sure people know what is happening over the next few weeks with Services. The next Wednesday House Mass will be on January the 4th. There won’t be any Morning Prayer between Christmas and the 2nd of Jan- so we will start back on Tuesday the 3rd, in person, in Church, at 9am. And on Sunday the 1st of Jan there will not be an 11am Service at St Nick’s so everyone is invited to join together at St Paul’s at 9.30am.
Jean Vaughan has asked for this message to be included about knitted stockings which look about the right size for me- I might buy a couple myself to keep my toes warm at night:
As part of our outreach this year Mothers’ Union has given 300 knitted Christmas stockings to Children Heard and Seen, with each one holding a Lindt chocolate figure and two chocolate sprouts. The charity is now helping almost 300 children of families with a parent in prison and we hope this small gift will help with fun and self esteem. It’s always difficult to gauge numbers so we have a few stockings left which are at St Pauls for you to take and fill for Christmas. You could put a lip salve or chocolate figures in them, for the tree or the table. Please put a donation in one of the small bags and post it in the safe behind the font. Best wishes for a fun Christmas.
And Mary Cassidy has sent two things to round off the epistle:
BOOKING IS NOW OPEN FOR THE LENT RETREAT
The parish retreat is set to take place at St Columba’s House in Woking from 6pm on Friday 3rd to 2.30pm on Sunday 5th March 2023. Further information and a booking form are available on the parish website: https://spauls.co.uk/lent-retreat-2023
And Cara, who is beginning to be able to do a couple of things each week, spoke about the importance of Joseph in the miracle of Christmas which made Mary think about this short (10 mins or so) film – which is definitely worth sharing more widely.
And now I can tick all of those things off my list- huzzah! On to my other list of Christmas presents to wrap- I am definitely taking the Rector off my list after he went to Coffee and Chat without me. So I am sorry but if you get an LA Rams keyring from me you will just have to pretend that you are pleased and not show that you know that it is the special present I got for Richard repurposed because he doesn’t deserve my thoughtfulness. Good bye.