Rev Chris update 22nd November

Dear all,
We continue into the third week of lockdown and await further guidance as to how we will come ‘out of’ the current situation. As previously mentioned, I shall keep you informed about services and events, although we remain hopeful that all we have planned will be able to go ahead, particularly the Christmas Market and Christmas Tree Festival.
In the meantime, I would like to thank Anthea Mitchell who has been on a placement with us over the last couple of months as an ordinand in training for the priesthood. This has been a challenging time to be on a placement as parish life has not been the same, however she rose to that challenge commendably and we will miss her as that time now comes to an end. She returns to her home church of St Paul’s for the rest of her training, although I shall continue as her supervisor.
This coming Sunday in the church calendar is referred to as Christ the King Sunday. It also goes by the name of ‘Stir Up Sunday’ and came to be thought of as a day when families gather to prepare, or ‘stir up’ their Christmas pudding. This is a nice notion on two counts, firstly the making of a delicious pudding and secondly the idea of ‘gathering’.

The ability to gather is of great concern at present because that is what we are unable to do right now, and we wait to hear what may, or may not, be possible over Christmas.
For now, what comfort can we bring? Maybe we should get back to the real meaning of ‘stir up’ Sunday which comes from a prayer in the Book of Common Prayer used on this day, and says “Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people.” Perhaps this is an opportunity to ‘stir up’ our faith in Christ as the one true hope for all people as we also recognise this Sunday as Christ the King Sunday. Interestingly the feast day was inaugurated by Pope Pius XI, in 1925, because he felt that society was losing its desire for a connection with God.
Next week we start Advent and the intention is that our services (both online and physical, if allowed) will take us on a journey, all the way to Christmas, that will ‘stir up’ our faith and help us to be grounded, despite the surrounding challenges, in the connection we all need to have with God through the person of Jesus Christ.
Rev Chris
10am A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE – Rev Chris
6.30pm ENCOUNTER WORSHIP – Jackie Wilkinson. Song link ‘While I’m waiting’