News – Page 13

Anglican Church News

From the Vicar

What do we wish others at Christmas?

Were we in Bethlehem this year, we would say, ‘Christmas Shalom’ or ‘Christmas Salaam’. Here, it is often the greeting; ‘Happy Christmas’, or ‘Merry Christmas’.

‘Shalom’ is the Jewish word for peace. ‘Salaam’ is the Arabic. Both have the same root; a peace that comes from God. For the Christmas season, what richer greeting could there be than wishing ‘peace’ for family, friends, and neighbours?

And yet we know that peace is still some way from a worldwide reality. That isn’t something peculiar to 2018, the centenary year of the ending of the Great War. Everything at the time of Jesus’ birth, just as now, was as far from Christmas peace as we can imagine. As we look around we see busy streets and markets, pubs overflowing, shoppers and party-goers. Back then people were gathering for a census; the inn was full, the journey fraught with danger. The worries and pressure for Mary and Joseph was not dissimilar.

For some, Christmas is not happy, or merry. This year we have lost many friends from our communities and our prayers are with those who are bereaved, for others there can be a loneliness to the season while others will miss distant relatives. Christmas can bring financial concerns too. And then there is the long list of tasks to be done and the never ending busyness, all making it hard for so many.

Yet we all have a gift that we can pass on: ‘the peace of God which passes all human understanding’. Peace, Shalom, Salaam, is not a wish for a good rest (although it might include it!). It is a deep prayer that others may know, and we with them, that in all the pressures of life, God is with us. Shalom is not the absence of worry, it is a prayer that all things may become fruitful, generous and loving, as God intended His world to be.

A perfect Christmas may be beyond us, but God in human form, the Christmas Child, Jesus Christ, brings something even better; a love and a peace that is overflowing and waiting to be discovered.May I, and all the staff team, wish you all a very Peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With every blessing


Come and join us in church this Christmas!

Parishes of Woodborough, Epperstone, Oxton & Gonalston

Church Services & Happenings in December

2nd December

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

11.00a.m. Morning Prayer (Gon)

3.30p.m. Christmas crafts and the Lighting of the Christmas Tree (Ox). A fun and festive afternoon getting ready for Christmas.

9th December

8.00a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (Ep)

10.00a.m. Nativity Service (W’b). The telling of the Christmas story by children from the Stars & Explorers groups

15th December

3.30p.m. Messy Christmas (Ep)

A fun afternoon with crafts, celebration and cake!

16th December

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

11.00a.m. Nativity Service (Ox)

The telling of the Christmas story with the children from Scramblers and Sunday Club.

4.00p.m. Lessons & Carols (Gon)

18th December

7.00p.m Lessons & Carols (Ep)

20th December

7.00p.m. Lessons & Carols (W’b)

22nd December

10.30a.m. Carols around the Tree (W’b).
Time to sing your favourite carol and enjoy drinks and mince pies too!

Christmas Eve

3.30p.m. Crib Service (W’b)

5.30p.m Crib Service (W’b)

Come and follow the star to the Christmas story!

11.00p.m. Holy Communion (Ox)

Christmas Day

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m Family Communion (Ep)

11.00a.m. BCP Holy Communion (Gon)


Church Happenings

Sunday 2nd December

10.00a.m Sunday Club, Oxton
village hall

3.30p.m. Christmas crafts and the
Lighting of the Christmas Tree (Ox).

Wednesday 5th December

10.00a.m. Coffee Drop In, St.

Tuesday, 11th December

2.00p.m. Church Fellowship coffee & mince pies

Friday, 14th December

2.00p.m Scramblers, St. Peter & St. Paul’s, Oxton

Wednesday 12th December

9.30a.m. Play Church, St. Swithun’s

7.30p.m Julian Meeting, St. Swithun’s

22nd December

10.30a.m. Carols around the Tree (W’b)