December message from Preb Alison

This year, The Bible Society is once again challenging us throughout Advent, to take on 24 acts of kindness to show others there’s more to Christmas than they might have thought.Top challenges from last year include: Letting someone out before you when driving. Saying three kind things in a day. Being quick to forgive when people hurt you or frustrate you. I’m going to give it a go – what about you? You can sign up to the Advent challenge at https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/adventchallenge/ Part of the idea in the challenge is to take our focus away from the intense pressures of preparing the material things which can so dominate our lives in the lead up to Christmas – a practical way to remember who we are as Christians and what the message of the Kingdom is about. Another way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas is to commit some time each day to being quiet and thoughtful about the season – maybe by reading an Advent book and ensuring we don’t neglect worship and prayer.

My hope is that your Advent will be full of such wonderful preparation for Christmas that when you get to Christmas day, you will be sure of why you rejoice in the baby who brought love, hope, forgiveness and joy. And my prayer for you lies in the words of John Lennon!

“So this is Christmas and what have you done
Another year over, a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones, the old and the young
And so this is Christmas for weak and for strong
The rich and the poor ones, the road is so long
And so happy Christmas for black and for white
For yellow and red ones let’s stop all the fights
A very merry Christmas and a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.”

Heathfield Churchyard

In September we had a small but hard working band of people who did an excellent job of tidying up the church yard and giving the church a good clean (under Jacqueline’s watchful eye). Many thanks to those who helped including those from our church and from the bell-ringing team.

A message from Preb Alison

On Sunday October 21st, we made history! The Bishop of Bath and Wells came to dedicate the new church centre at Cotford St Luke; the 1st C of E church to be built in this Diocese for over a decade. The sun shone, there was standing room only, the music and singing were fantastic, and it all felt right. On the front of the order of service was verse 5 of Rev 21: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making His home with men and women!” (The Message)

In the month since St Luke’s Centre opened its doors, not only has there been landscaping parties, the open afternoon, but the Hub café has been open Monday afternoons, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. A baby group has started up, Toddler church meets there and we’re hoping to set up a further Toddler group. Bereavement café will start on Friday November 2nd at 2pm. In the hall there’s yoga and Pilates. We’ve had a harvest barn dance, Christmas fayre is coming up and a sale of Kiddie’s Clobber! The potential is amazing.

On Wednesday November 7th I have been invited to the Christian Charities Awards evening at Mercer Hall in London where the project has been shortlisted in the best rural project category. I’ve been told it’s a bit like a BAFTA! Please pray for me on that day.

At the Dedication we gave God the glory but I’d also like to say a huge thank you to His servants (too many to mention on the day) who have helped make the vision a reality.