Vicar's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

"Christmas comes but once a year, and when it does….?"

Halloween is over; November 5th is almost forgotten ; Remembrance poppies are back in the cupboard for another year; so it must be Christmas now, right?

Well no, not for those of us who follow the Christian, as opposed to the 'retail opportunity' year. Because we have a week or two of the 'Kingdom' season, and then the whole of Advent to come Before we get to Christmas!

Advent is one of my favourite seasons in the calendar… A time to draw breath, to prepare, to simplify life a little before we all get caught up in the joy and celebration to come.
So if you visit the church in the first three weeks of December, you won't find any flowers - although there may be some attractive greenery. Not because we want to be miserable (Advent is not quite as sombre as Lent), but because we want to appreciate the beauty that green foliage can bring to our place of worship, and we want to be bowled over when all the Christmas decorations and the Tree do arrive. A little waiting will make it all the more special!

Advent Sunday itself will be celebrated in style on 29th November, but every Sunday in Advent will be pretty special in different ways. On 6th December (St Nicholas' Day) we will have a rather wonderful Family Service in the morning and then in the afternoon I will be very proud to present 4 people to the Bishop for confirmation at St Nicholas' Church, Codsall. We can't take everyone from Pattingham with us for this celebration, but your prayers would be much appreciated. ( and please contact me if you are curious or interested in confirmation - you can be any age from around 12/13 to 99! )

We will also be helping you to get ready through Advent, and I hope that pretty much every house in the villages will receive one of our special Christmas cards, detailing all the services in church this month. In particular I hope to see lots of children with your parents or carers at the Christingle on Sunday 13th December and/or the Crib service on Christmas Eve. Both of these will be at 4pm. And if anyone fancies coming to help make the Christingles on Saturday 12th in the morning, come along to church and join in the fun! We hope this will raise a good sum for the work of the Children's Society. And whatever we collect at the Dartmouth Arms with our Carol sing along on the evening of Tuesday 15th December will be added to this total.

As I was writing this news came through of the terrible events in Paris on the night of Friday 13th November... our thoughts and prayers are with all those caught up in seemingly mindless violence - wherever they may be and of whatever faith or none. Perhaps this Advent we might all make a special effort to pray for and focus on the peace of the World, and the Prince of Peace whose birth we so eagerly await. Maranatha - Come, Lord Jesus.

Wishing you a joyful and peaceful Christmas,