From the Rectory
December 2008

Have you made your Christmas cake and pudding, started to write your greetings cards and bought all of the presents? Yes, it's that time of the year again, a time when we all go into overdrive and set about exhausting ourselves in preparation for the festivities of Christmas. I've offered to do all of the cooking at the Rectory over Christmas this year, and with seven adults, a baby, a cat and two dogs it looks as if I'll be somewhat busy myself.

But before any of that I hope to have time to stop, pause and consider what is to come - during ADVENT.

There will be a series of Meditations on the Wednesday evenings during ADVENT to help those who wish to join me quietly and prayerfully before we are overcome with the rush of Christmas.

ADVENT is a time to catch our breath, to look back on the events that bring us ultimately to Bethlehem, standing beneath the Star of wonder. ADVENT is a time to repent (unfashionable these days, but essential for the Christian pilgrim) of all that has gone awry in relationships, at work, at home, with our friends and neighbours, perhaps: To look forward in hope and expectation, to forgive and to be forgiven. Then we can celebrate the joy of Christmas. I hope that you all have a blessed Advent and a gloriously happy and joyful, God-filled Christmas.

If you get a chance, pop into the Rectory over the Christmas holiday and survey the chaos for yourselves, you will be welcomed; you can be assured of that, sat on by the cat probably. She'll cover you in hairs and then walk away and ignore you! You'll no doubt be barked at by the dogs, licked and watched closely in case a tit-bit is offered, given a seat and the compliments of the season, Lila will delight you and we will be delighted to see you. May God fill you with joy and wonder during this very special season.

Yours for Christ's sake.