Before starting to write this December’s jottings, I looked back at my jottings for December 2021, which referred to Christmas 2020, when I was unable, like so many others, to spend Christmas with family. As I looked towards Christmas 2021, I was anticipating a family get together, though without the normal contingent from France. As it turned out our Christmas plans were disrupted when my nephew’s wife caught Covid just before Christmas Eve and our plans to eat Christmas dinner at their house had to be cancelled. We had a much quieter celebration at my brother’s home but he was able to offer Christmas lunch to a friend who had also had his plans disrupted by the virus. This year my niece and her family have planned to come over from France, so we are all hoping that nothing will spoil the family festivities for Christmas 2022.
I hope that many other families will be able to return to their own Christmas traditions this year. We do still need to remember people who may be unwell, suffering a recent bereavement or anxious about finances and the cost of living. We can pray for them and give what support we can. It is good to experience the generosity of church members and local people who have recently donated to the children’s charity Spurgeons and who will hopefully support the Children’s Society at our Christingle Service on 11th December and Mary Ann Evans Hospice through the portion given by the church from the Christmas Tree Festival takings.
Unfortunately I was unwell and unable to attend the Carol Service at St Laurence last year. I did however hear about the poem that Roy Taylor had written and read to the congregation during the service. I am pleased that I have been able to include it in this December’s magazine for our readers to enjoy and reflect on.
This year the Church of England has produced an App entitled “Follow the Star: The great invitation” for the Advent season and the twelve days of Christmas. It begins on 1st December and continues to 6th January. Each reflection will take you on a journey that will help you take fresh encouragement and hope from Advent and the Christmas Story into the year ahead. There is also an Advent Calendar with activities for the whole family. Take a look at www.churchofengland.org to find out more