Christmas 2010 began with a "Christmas Messy Church"
where Children of all ages gathered together to make some decorations to go onto the tree.
We made stars with the words Love, Joy, Peace and Hope,
and coloured in other Christmas symbols and shapes,
and then went into the Church to decorate the tree.
We took the opportunity to do a practice for the Children's nativity and do some video recording! This was the next big event in Advent. The play, which was written by one of our older Junior Church members, was set in today's time. We saw the the shepherds on the cloud looking down at the earth from heaven and watching some modern day events which reminded them of that spectacular birth 2000 (and 10) years ago. The video was projected on the screen to show us what they were remembering. The shepherds remembered that birth and reflected on its relevance for today - some deep thinking for someone still at Junior School!
The same evening we held our "Carol's by Candlelight". This is not a traditional Nine Lessons and Carols, but carols interspersed with more modern readings, reflections and prayers (and some humour!). It was a most thought provoking service.
Christmas Eve began at 4.30pm in the Foyer with another messy event - making the Christingles. These are made from an orange representing to world into which are placed four cocktail sticks which represent the four corner of the earth (N, S E, W).
Tne sticks carry sweets or fruits to represent the bounty of the planet - God's gift to us. Around the middle of the organ goes a red ribbon - the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, and in the top a white candle - representing Jesus the Light of the World.
At 5.00pm we moved into the church for our Crib Service
where we sang carols and the children slowly built up the crib scene.
At the end the lights were turned right down
and we lit the christingle candles.
At 11.00pm we met again, enjoyed tea and coffee, biscuits and mince pies before returning to the candle lit church for our midnight communion. Revd Sylvia from St Martin's preached and shared with David in the leading of the serve, we prepared the table and waited in silence for midnight to arrive. The last white advent candle was lit - announcing that they day had arrived to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the bread and wine were shared.
On Christmas Day at 10.00am we joined
the Congregation at St Martin's.
The church was full for the service
which involved David, our own minister, (right)
in preaching and leading the service.
And now it is 2011!
A Happy new Year to you all!