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Letter from the Curate – November 2015

For many people this is their very favourite time of the year. For me, once summer is over, I look forward to the crisp, cold winter mornings and
thoughts of making sure that there is enough coal and wood to burn on the fire. In fact, as the temperature dropped recently, we made our first fire of the season and it soon attracted our dogs, drawn to the warmth it gave off.

I have already seen many Facebook posts telling me about the countdown to Christmas and how many days are left. I must confess the mention of
Christmas causes mild panic as I know it is coming, there is much to do in preparation and I haven’t even started; but realistically why should I? The danger, of course, is that there are things to enjoy and reflect on long before the season of Christmas.

At the end of November we come to the season of Advent, sadly all too often lost in the build up to Christmas. Advent is when the church is encouraged to look forward, not just to the coming of Jesus as a child, but the occasion Jesus returns again and will bring the world to a great climax. It will no longer continue in its present vein, but the troubles we all endure will be no more. This is a great of encouragement when we feel so helpless and bewildered by what we see around us. At St. Mary’s we hold our Confirmation service on Advent Sunday – this seems very apt, Advent is a time for looking forward and preparation, and we hope that our confirmation candidates, properly prepared, will be looking forward to declaring their faith and taking on their baptismal vows for themselves as they continue to look forward to a continued life within the church family. This year Bishop Richard will be with us, and the Confirmation Service will be held on 29th November at 9:45.

Yes, Christmas is on its way, but there is much to enjoy before it comes. May we as a community draw together and build what is so important – a real sense of care and belonging. We can do this as we all celebrate together.

Richard

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