It’s real love

It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of Christmas, with all the stores beautifully adorned and decorated, and adverts portraying the idyllic Christmas. One advert in particular has taken precedence in people’s hearts with the message:

 “…Seems like all they really were doing, was waiting for love…

…It’s real love. It’s real.” lyrics sung by Tom Odell (written by John Lennon)

What a great way to sum up Christmas! – and exactly what the world was waiting for in the prophesied birth of Jesus – real love. It goes beyond the baubles and the wrapping paper straight to the heart of the season. It’s a special time of year; powerful enough to lay guns and fighting aside, as we were reminded during our 1914 Remembered evening in November with the rendition of “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht…Silent Night, Holy Night”.

(It was a fantastic evening raising over £160 for Help for Heroes – many thanks to everyone involved in the evening behind the scenes, participating and attending).

Christmas is time for everyone, it’s patience, kindness, humility; it believes,  it hopes and endures: It’s real love. It’s real!

You’re warmly invited to celebrate Christmas with us – bring along family and friends and discover the reason for the season…

a BIG Thank You!

Thank you so much to everyone who supported our Craft & Hobby Festival – through all the work behind the scenes and on the day, the delicious cakes and cream teas, the beautiful and colourful displays showcasing many a talent, all the visitors and the generous donations – together we raised £365 for Macmillan nurses – which is a fantastatic result!

Many thanks again!

…a little bit of sunshine

This glorious spring month celebrates Mother’s Day, St Patricks and Easter, providing a time for thanks, celebration, reflection, and an eternal hope for things to come. Sunshine can be found each day in the little things we do for each other – a kind word, smile or deed and also along the roadside with its many banks of daffodils as they gently sway in the breeze. For those who find a grey cloud overcasts their day may the words of this Irish Blessing bring a little bit of sunshine your way:

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Snowdrops

We’ve had heavy snowfall, frosty mornings and plenty of rain but the signs of Spring are already showing…

…the first being the humble snowdrop, a symbol of new beginnings, hope, optimism and purity. As we enter the season of Lent the snowdrop’s three pure white delicate flower petals on a single stem is also a reminder of the strength and hope that is found within the trinity. Whilst the snowdrop marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring it does so in humility, its head is always bowed – this could be seen as a reference to the servant king, but it also hints towards the crucifixion of Jesus and Mary’s sorrow, head bowed down in grief at the foot of the cross for her son.

But as we know that’s not the end of the story – it’s the start of a new beginning… which the snowdrop sums up beautifully.

Thank you

Our Sunday School would like to thank everyone for the generous gifts given for the homeless at the Christmas Tree service early in December. There were 213 items collected to create survival kits, distributed by the Salvation Army during the festive season. Throughout the service the Christmas Tree was adorned with traditional decorations – lights/ stars/ angels/ bells and baubles, revealing the legend of the Christmas tree and how it relates to the Nativity and beyond.

The prominent theme of faith, hope and love, encapsulated by the humble bauble and candy cane, is a gift that reaches beyond Christmas:

Faith – what it takes to tackle problems and challenges, a rock to base our lives on

Hope – to search for the good in things and for life eternal

Love – an everlasting love that responds to needs and puts others first. It’s the greatest gift, which was exemplified in the simple act of giving gifts for the homeless and the candy canes given to each of the congregation as a reminder of Jesus’ love for us all – the pure lamb of God, sacrificed for the sins of the world.

So as you store the Christmas decorations away, keep their meanings and spirit of Christmas with you throughout the year.