The Christmas season is now upon us. TV, radio and media adverts have been about nothing else for weeks. We will have our invites to parties, lunches, carol services, friends and family to juggle and prepare for. It all seems so very busy (and often expensive).
So let’s spare a thought for those who did not get the invites – perhaps they live on their own. No family anywhere near. Those in care or residential homes. Those in hospital, prison or just on the streets. Or for those who are struggling financially for whom the pressures to conform to the ‘norm’ could perhaps push them over the edge. Those who are in a foreign land with customs and expectations different from those happening around them. These folks can be in a very confusing and disturbing place – and they are often all around us but we don’t see them.
Our partying can easily separate us our neighbours – and not just at Christmas. So perhaps we should spend a few minutes thinking back to why we have a celebration called Christmas. We need to remember a couple, not yet married, travelling to a strange place on the orders of a repressive government. The young woman was carrying a child, with the child due to be born any day. No midwives around. No ambulances to be called on. In fact – no-one to call on – when the child was born in a dirty stable, the only place found to get shelter for that night. Almost alone – in a strange place. That child was subsequently understood to be a very special child indeed, the son of God. That child was under threat from the moment of birth and the family had to become refugees themselves in order to survive. That is the event we are remembering at Christmas.
So why do we celebrate such an event? Because that child, Jesus, was to reveal to humanity the depth of God’s love for them. Whether rich or poor, sick or well, alone or with many friends and family, God shows that He cares for them. He enables us to be reconciled with the God who created all things, including us. That’s the event we celebrate.
Jesus showed us how to care for others. If we really want to enjoy our Christmas, then we should take a look around us for those who may be less fortunate and find some way to share with them as well. God shared his very Son – surely we can share something of our selves.
The pupils from Breadsall School again have provided the church with a difficult choice for the cover of this year’s xmas card. We finally chose the following design by Millie – watch out for the card coming through your door in the next week or so.
To all the other entrants – thank you for your entry. We intend to have them all displayed in the church for the next few weeks.
The position of Priest-in-charge for Breadsall, Smalley and Morley has now been advertised on the Derby Diocese website. Please pray that the right person will see and respond to this advert and that an appointment can be made in the New Year.
Last weekend, October 5th -7th, ypig? (young people interested in God) went away to the Peak Centre at Edale and had a wonderful time. Most of us travelled up by train on Friday evening, arriving at around 8pm where Claire had already unpacked the food and prepared pizzas. After all the excitement of trying to make beds and playing parachute games it was time for bed and, amazingly, quite a lot of sleep!
On Saturday a lot of rain was predicted which was a concern as we had planned a walk and other outdoor activities. However, thank you to praying friends, the weather was actually fairly good in the morning and improved throughout the day. The walk went ahead, as did the den-building in the woods and the evening campfire. Sunday morning saw us climbing the walls – literally, before packing, cleaning up and leaving.
During the course of the weekend we spent time looking at “Who is King?”, thinking about the God of Creation and his solution to our world by sending Jesus. Many thoughtful questions were asked and our prayer is that this group would draw closer to the God who loves them.
The church now has the facility to accept contactless donations. So, if you forget your wallet, envelopes or just want to make a donation using your credit or debit card, we can accept it. Please talk to the wardens. Initially, it will only be available at the main Morning Service.
The girls from y:pig successfully negotiated a challenge for Sport Relief on Friday 23rd March. Three teams of 3 took part in a 4 legged race over a short course around the village and Greenway. Here is one photo of the final team climbing the slope to the Greenway.
The girls have raised £130 so far. The winning team is shown below:
Ypig* is the Youth Group of All Saints’ Breadsall. We meet every Friday evening from 6pm-7.30pm, usually at Breadsall Memorial Hall, for games, crafts, challenges and Christian teaching. All young people are welcome from Year 6 upwards. Once a month there is something called “Friday Night Drop in” which is open to Year 5 children too. Check out our current programme.
* We are often asked “Why ypig?”. It stands for Young People Interested in GodAt The Peak Centre in Edale
Earlier in the year we collected money to send to Kumi in Uganda. Some of this money was to pay for a new home to be built for one family. One of the teams that went out with “Mission Direct ” recently were able to build the house below for John and his family. John and his wife have 7 children crammed into the small home you can see. John was orphaned in the insurgency and has some small learning difficulties. He does well to keep his family going through subsistence farming but not all his children are at school and there is no spare money for things like house repairs. So our gift has provided a new home for him.
The Mission Direct Team building John’s house with the money we sent out earlier this year.
It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of Jean Boiling. Jean was a faithful member of this church for many years, serving in the choir amongst other roles.
In latter years, she has not been able to attend church due to illness.
She will be missed by her husband, Derek, and son, Michael, as well as all those who knew her from church or as a Dinner lady at the village school.
As a church we enjoy good links with our local Primary School. Each week members of the congregation go into school to lead Collective Worship and several of the children come to our after school clubs. The school uses church for end of term services and productions. Here you can see Key Stage 2 in their end of year production of Snow White – a version by Roald Dahl.
To all who are leaving to go to new schools – we wish you well.
And to all Staff and Children – have a Happy Holiday!