My dear friends,
One look at the diary and we can see how busy the lead up to the Christmas Festival is going to be. I am delighted that Elm Grove School has asked to use the Church this year and as in the past look forward to welcoming Fairlight for their annual visits. Finally in the busy pre Christmas season is our School Carol celebration followed by their Christmas Fayre.
Each of these celebrations have a wonderful atmosphere of anticipation, if sometimes premature celebration. The same can not be said about last year's 'Carols for Everyone' that was held even earlier than usual due to the fact that Advent 4 was the 23rd December. Such extra services, our fund raising activities and our social life depend on mutual commitment. Obviously everyone can not do everything and not everything is everyone's cup of tea, but they do need organising and in this, we can pull together as a parish family, by apologising in advance rather than not turning up and when asked to do so, reserve places in advance.
Amidst all the business of December I believe we should all try and take some time out to heed that Advent message of preparation; preparation to celebrate the Incarnation with the eyes of the shepherds, in other words, as we are totally surprised at this GOOD NEWS of God's love for mankind. While Advent does not have the rigorous penitential theme as does Lent it is a good time to reflect back, to acknowledge mistakes and missed opportunities and then begin again the Pilgrimage begun in Baptism, the pilgrimage to that meeting with the Lord which will be on no fixed day and often without warning, as we approach him in his Kingdom.
Fr Andrew joins me in wishing you a good Advent and a very Happy Christmas.
With my love and prayers,
Fr. Trevor Buxton