Well it’s nearly here, but not quite. For fans of the Two Ronnies you will notice that we light fork handles (four candles) on the Advent wreath. On Wednesday Handley and I will go to collect the tree (ordered a month ago) and on Saturday at 10.00am there will be a working bee here at church to put it up and dress it with decorations made by the members of Mothers’ Union and children of Hadlow School. The nativity scene will be placed in the altar and everywhere and everything will be swept, dusted and polished. If you want to help either by wielding a vacuum cleaner, decorating the tree or making tea for the rest of us, you are encouraged to come and join the fun!
One of the great strengths of following Advent properly, as we have tried to do here at Epiphany, is that it reminds us that all this preparation serves as a metaphor for the preparation of ourselves as we get ready to re-accept the incarnate God into our lives, to refresh our faith and to rejoice in God’s love for us.
I hope to see as many as possible at Carols in the Square on Friday 7.00.pm. Over the last couple of years people have responded most positively to our idea of an hour of traditional carols. Now it is up to us, and the other Christian groups, to ensure that this effort continues to bring something of the real Christmas to the people of our town. Also it gives us a rare chance to be there and be square!
Now, let us leap forward a week or two to the Epiphany. This celebration of the arrival of the Magi to see Jesus is also our Parish patronal feast and therefor very special to us as a community.
The date of the feast is normally the 6th January (Twelfth Night) but it is moved for purposes of celebration to the nearest Sunday.
So, on Sunday 8th January we will have one whole-Parish service at 10.30.am when we can all come together to thank God for our church community, past and present, and pray for its future. And afterwards we will have a lunch together in Hadlow School.
I hope you have signed up!
For Trish and me this will bring to a close five years of real joy serving this very special and, by any measurement, successful Parish.
But, before all that… Christmas! Have a holy one!
Jim Ball, our beloved People’s Warden and Office Manager offers a profound “thank you” to all those who have served in the office this year. The office will now be closed until Monday 9th January.