This Week in the Parish

The nights are getting longer, and Christmas is round the corner. Is Christmas something you enjoy, avoid or just try to “get through”? For many people the round of nativity plays, carol singing, good food and presents is a joyful time. However the recent UN report on the UK on extreme poverty and human rights, indicates that many people in our country will have a hard Christmas. The report says that “14 million people (20% of the population), live in poverty, 4 million of which are more than 50% below the poverty line, with a further 1.5 million destitute and unable to afford basic essentials. The Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2020 and various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40%.

For almost one in every two children to be poor in 21st century Britain is not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.

There are other reasons some people find Christmas tough – memories of unhappy family Christmases, or missing loved ones spring to mind. The world can feel very dark indeed.

Yet in the dark streets shineth an everlasting light. The light of God embodied in a Bethlehem manger shines still. Christ showed us that the world can be different and calls us to work with Him for a world of justice and peace based on loving God and loving our neighbour. In all the turmoil currently going on in our world – conflict, climate change, the uncertainties of Brexit, the rise of nationalism and fracturing of societies, we need this message of hope more than ever.

So when we’ve “got through” Christmas and the year ends, let’s look to new beginnings in the lengthening days of the new year and seek to bring the reality of the light of Christ wherever we have the power to do so – whether in our families, our communities, our nation or in the wider world.

Christmas Events & Services 2018

Tues 18th: Hipswell Primary School & Hipswell Community Christingle St John’s (6pm)

Sun 23rd: Carol Service St Cuthbert’s (6pm)

Christmas Eve: “Pop Up Nativity Service” with King’s Church  

St Cuthbert’s (4pm)

Christmas Eve: “Midnight Mass’ St John’s (11.30pm)

Christmas Day:  Christmas Celebration St Cuthbert’s (10.30am)

All welcome! Please do come along … we’d love to see you!

   

Coming up this week:

Tues: 10-12noon Veterans’ and Community Art Group        St Cuthbert’s Community Hall

6pm Hipswell CE Primary School & Community Christingle, St John’s, Hipswell

NB No Warden’s Hour

Wed: 9-11.30am Drop-in St Cuthbert’s Hall

Thurs: 9.15am Hipswell Primary KS1 Nativity, St John’s

Sun: 6pm Parish Carol Service, St Cuthbert’s Church

 

Prayers: For those seeking comfort & healing:

Baby Macie May, Derek, Matthew, Edgar, Eve, Ann & Christine, Tracy, Liz, Paul, Emma, Linda, Peter, John, Nicola, Jenny & Lucy, Ann & David.    Those who mourn, especially the families of Brenda Milner & Arthur Pearce.

Next Sunday: 4th Sunday of Advent

St John’s: 9.30am Service of the Word

St Cuthbert’s: 11am Holy Communion/KFC and 6pm Carol Service

                                                                                                                                  

 

             


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