Latest Rector’s Letter

My dear friends,
And so the great cycle of the Christian year begins again, on 29th November, Advent Sunday. The altar frontals will change to purple, the advent candles will be lit and once more we will begin the story of the ages, from the beginning of time through to its fulfillment.
I love keeping Advent well, listening to traditional Advent hymns, blocking the purchase of chocolate advent calendars in favour of ones with pictures in, and resisting putting up the decorations until the week before Christmas. Well, that’s the theory – the reality is that I’m not very good at it! The house always smells so fresh and looks so pretty with the Christmas Tree that it seems a shame not to have it for a bit longer, and it will probably go up next week. It won’t come down until Twelfth Night though, despite questioning looks from passers-by!
This year, we hardly need to discipline ourselves to experience the waiting and darkness of a traditional Advent, because it already feels as though we have been experiencing it all year. We have been waiting to go out, waiting to spend time with close friends or family, waiting to sing and chat at church, and waiting for our coffee and cake afterwards. It has felt dark, lonely and never-ending. Thank goodness we have the promise of some light in the darkness with the hopeful news of vaccines to come. In the meantime, if you fancy a chocolate advent calendar, have one!
Alongside that, we will be sending out our own daily advent reflections, and I am hoping that churches will be able to open again from 2nd December. We are planning to use St Mary’s wonderful spaciousness for some safely distanced Christmas services, keeping everyone safe by booking pews for each ‘bubble’. We can’t sing but there will be plenty to listen to, and if we can’t open the church we will move online.
We are asking everyone to book in advance because this is going to take a bit of organisation! Please see the details later of how to let us know that you are coming. I can’t wait!
With every blessing.
Anne-Marie.