Stepping out of the Stable
One year I was standing in a queue at a supermarket just before Christmas
and I saw on a rack, a January edition of some sort of home magazine. I
must have been rather tired or something because I found my eyes filling
with tears. I was so longing to finally get to Christmas, to Bethlehem, finally come to the stable, with everything done or not done – but there anyway, – that the thought of then rolling on and out into January, was awful.
Actually, when the time comes, I do find myself ready – gladdened by the
lengthening days and hopefully rested enough to look at new challenges
with pleasure rather than desperation.
But I am writing this at the very beginning of Advent and am a little amused
to find that the idea of January (at this point) still appals me.
Well, when we read this, we will be there – and I trust be glad to be. We all
have to leave the stable and carry what we found within, out, into the
If we enjoyed feasting, then perhaps in 2020 we might see how we can help
those who are hungry. If we enjoyed the warmth of our home on dark
nights we might resolve to do something about homelessness. If the weather was very different from what we expected, we might decide to pull our finger out about climate change. If we were glad to see our families and
were able to give something to people we loved, perhaps this year we will
consider those who are alone, or those who struggle to buy even the basic
necessities for their children.
If at midnight on Christmas eve, we were overwhelmed by awe, knowing
that God is, and loves us and, in Jesus, comes to be with us in all our vulnerability, our darkness and our mess – then perhaps in 2020 we might be brave enough to speak more, and more fully, of God and the wonder of
God’s mercy, so that others may encounter such a moment.
There is a very lovely carol that should accompany us through January. It
isn’t often sung now but it is called the Shepherd’s farewell and it begins
‘Thou must leave thy lowly dwelling, the humble manger, stable bare’. It is
the Shepherd’s prayer for the little Jesus, they fear for him in the wide world. It is their prayer for him, if you like, for all the challenges that January holds.
It ends by repeating this, twice. ‘God go with thee, God protect thee, guide
thee safely through the wild’.
Pondering it now, I am comforted about the New Year. Jesus leaves the
stable and comes with us into 2020, into the new decade and will help us
with all the good that we want to do. So….
Happy New year!
God go with you!
It is with great sadness that we have heard of the death of Gwen Miller. Gwen has not been well for the last few years but had kept all of her faculties and her faith remained steadfast. She has now moved on to meet her Saviour face to face. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
There is a concert in church this Saturday (14th December) at 7.30 pm.
The event involves members from 6 local choirs with Anne and Dana de Waal leading the massed choirs. There will be a collection at the event for the work of Project Arusha in Africa. The event itself is free admission.
Don’t forget the Christingle Services on December 22nd (4 pm) and December 24 (4pm and 6pm). These are ticketed events with tickets available from church, Breadsall School and the Rector.
We are holding a series of 4 meetings during Advent to explore together what Advent means for Christians. The meetings will be held at Morley Retreat on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm, starting on 27th November with a look at the Patriarchs.
Many thanks to everyone who packed a shoebox with gifts for children in parts of the world where they were unlikely to receive any gifts this Christmas.
The total number of boxes taken to Chesterfield (the local centre), including those from Breadsall C of E School (35) was 51 boxes.
To all persons who had used the ‘Goodbox’ device for cashless donations, please be aware that due to a defect in the system, all donations made before 13th October have not been processed. The unit has been replaced and is now working normally.
The supplier has made good all donations recorded by the machine and a total of £60 was raised for the Bishops Harvest Appeal in this manner.
We apologise for the issues and encourage anyone who wishes to make cashless donations to the church to use the machine again in the future. We closely monitor the device to ensure no data is lost again.
Also, please note that these donations are totally anonymous – no data regarding donor name, card number etc, is recorded.
The first of our Churches Together services which sees the congregations of Breadsall, Morley and Smalley come together on the 5th Sunday for a joint service takes place this Sunday 30th June at 1030, for this time hosted in Breadsall. Please support this if you can.
Our new Rector, Kate Plant, has arrived and has been duly ‘installed’ by Bishop Jan at a service at Smalley Church on Thursday 9th May. She and her husband Tom and mother-in-law Jean are residing in Breadsall Rectory on Rectory Lane. Please give them a warm welcome and help them to settle in to their new life in Breadsall. As noted elsewhere, her first service will be a joint communion with our sister churches of Morley and Smalley to be held on Sunday May 12th at Morley church at 1030 am.
Her first services at Breadsall will be on Sunday 19th May at 8.00 followed by the 8.00 and 10.15 services on Sunday 26th May.
In the next weeks, we will be trialling a device that allows gifts to be made using your contactless bank card. Initially, this is to raise funds for Christian Aid. However, if this proves successful, we will consider acquiring the device for future use. Please support the Christian Aid collection as we are not aware of any door to door collections in the village this year.
Please note that there will be NO service at 0800 or 1015 in Breadsall church on the 12 May. We are all invited to a joint service at Morley church at 1030 to celebrate Kate’s first communion with us.