13
Jan 2022
Weekly Email w/b 10th January 2022

This week we began looking at Elijah in our morning services. We started to think about how his journey, as a ‘giant of faith,’ encourages us in our walk with God. It got me musing about all the ‘giants of faith’ who’ve inspired me in my walk with God. Some of those are Biblical figures, like Elijah, and others are ordinary people who have shown me so much about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus over the years. Some are public figures known to many of us, and others are people who have quietly lived out their faith serving God in the workplace and their families. You may well have read Archbishop Justin Welby’s tribute to that other wonderful Archbishop and undoubted giant of faith, Desmond......

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07
Jan 2022
Weekly Email w/b 3rd January 2022

Today – Thursday 6th January – is meant to be the moment we take down our Christmas decorations, and everything goes back into the box for another year. Have you done yours down yet? At the Vicarage we did so on Monday, which might be a few days early but reflects a busy few days since then as life starts up anew. My favourite Christmas purchase was a £5 ‘pressure pad’ which fits under our doormat, so that every time someone walked in or out of the house it would play a rendition of “We Wish you a merry Christmas”. Even the dog set it off. But I can’t wait to annoy everyone with it next year. I always feel a mixture of emotions as I climb the attic......

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23
Dec 2021
Weekly Email w/b 20th December 2021

There’s certainly been no shortage of carols this year thus far. School nativities, Trinity Table, Residential homes, carols by carlight, carols on the Green, Radbrook carols… and a few other places. Most recently we met in the primary school playground for our two outdoor carol services on Sunday evening. What an amazing team effort, and huge thanks to everyone who did some nifty last minute organising as we headed outdoors. “O come all ye faithful?” Absolutely. That well-known carol continues with the words “joyful and triumphant”. If I’m honest, that’s not how quite a few of us are feeling at the moment as Christmas plans change, COVID concerns increase, and another year draws to an end with a slight sense of unknowing. So whether you’re feeling faithful, or joyful,......

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17
Dec 2021
Weekly Email w/b 13th December 2021

Amidst my usual Christmas playlists I’ve had occasional bursts of a certain Christmas song by WHAM. “Last Christmas I gave you my heart” go the words. But you know what happens the very next day. It’s a song about broken promises, about hurting people, about a lingering sense of disappointment. As Christmas approaches this year these are pretty powerful themes aren’t they? Let me encourage you – in the midst of all that is going on – to discover for ourselves more of the heart of Christmas. Of a God who remembers his promises, who reaches out to hurting people, and who can be trusted even in the tough places. To all those who have struggle, who long for light and love in their lives, here is good news.......

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10
Dec 2021
Weekly Email w/b 6th December 2021

This week has been “nativity play” week for us as a team, with three plays performed by Meole Brace Primary and seven hosted for Coleham school at Belle Vue church. In one of them I think we had 31 innkeepers, which certainly led to an interesting sight when Mary and Joseph – and donkey – got to Bethlehem and started knocking doors! In the book we’re using for Six o’clock live, Stephen Cottrell writes: School nativity plays tell the basic story in a way that is often overly sentimental – stables become the loveliest place to give birth, and shepherds quite the most welcome guests – but they also relate the events with an uncluttered impact; ordinary men and women caught up in astonishing events and working out how......

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03
Dec 2021
Weekly Email w/b 29th November 2021

Have you thought about Christmas trees yet this year? Anyone want to admit to having put theirs up already? I think one of my favourite memories of childhood is buying the Christmas tree. It always had pride of place in the hallway of the house. And on the top of the tree – with the help of small children on shoulders or step-ladders and whatever else – we’d crown the tree with an object. Each year there was a choice, either a gold-coloured angel or a bright-coloured star. The lights would switch on, and it was like Christmas had arrived. The world was ok again. Whatever you’re doing with your tree this year – and please think sustainable – let me encourage you to consider these objects sitting on......

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