‘I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Christmas is all around me and so the feeling grows’
… say the lyrics of the Christmas film, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, Love Actually.
It doesn’t seem five minutes since we were celebrating Christmas, and yet in the world of advertising and card manufacture, we have definitely moved on, into a season more appropriately linked to the original lyrics of the song, first performed by the Troggs in 1967 ‘I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Love is all around me, and so the feeling grows.’
Posada originates from Mexico where people dress as Mary and Joseph and re-enact the journey to Bethlehem, travelling from house to house asking for a place to stay (the word Posada means an inn). In recent years, this idea has been modified by churches in this country by sending the figures of Mary and Joseph and the donkey from house to house during Advent.
This year, we are offering the Posada experience in our village. From Sunday 27th November until Christmas Day, figures representing Mary and Joseph will travel round our community from home to home, stopping by arrangement, where there is a place for them and a warm welcome waiting.
Then Jesus declared ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’
In an effort to live more sustainably, I decided to try and grow some vegetables in my garden for the first time this year. I made lots of mistakes so the results were very mixed. The broad beans were covered in black fly, the dwarf pea plants produced about 6 peas from 20 plants, and the carrots were very tiny. But I did manage to grow some passable red peppers!
Pilgrimage for the Homeless – Alan Murray Tells his story
I have just walked the 74-mile Pilgrimage from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London to Canterbury Cathedral, with about 100 other pilgrims, sleeping on the floors of churches and halls. This took four full days and was a great experience, walking with some of the homeless people, as well as helpers and supporters of this homeless charity.
This month we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with an extra long bank holiday weekend and in villages, towns and cities up and down the land, there will be special events to mark this special occasion.
Over the Queen’s remarkable reign, we can all probably remember several big Jubilee celebrations.
I was five when the Queen marked her Silver Jubilee, I still remember the fancy dress parade where I was dressed up as a 50 pence piece and being given a special commemorative coin from school, which I still keep in a special place.
For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I was on a planning committee, arranging a large community event, and, much like the recent error you may have heard about with 10,800 teacups, mugs and plates commemorating the ‘Platinum Jubbly’ … we managed to order hundreds of posters, which to our horror said ‘Diamond Jubliee’ by mistake
But then jubilee is not really a word we come across in everyday language very often, so no wonder it leaves itself open to the occasional spelling mistake.
Yet it is a word that we come across a fair bit in the bible. Biblically it is a year of emancipation and restoration. In the book of Leviticus, the Lord declares that a year of Jubilee be held every 50th year and that it be a special year of pardoning sins. Slaves were to be freed, debts forgiven and land returned to its original owner. So rather radical!
The Character of God
Jubilee, teaches us a lot about the character of God, His mercy, generosity and love of justice. We are reminded that God is our provider. In the same way Jubilee gives an opportunity for all people to display love and grace in a remarkable way and above all it sets people free.
Celebrate & Rejoice
Jubilee then is a fitting time for celebration and rejoicing.
So as we celebrate and rejoice in the Queen’s 70 year reign, we do so giving thanks for her strong Christian faith and witness. For the mercy, generosity and justice she has shown in her reign, and we rejoice and are glad in all that God has given us.
May God Bless you abundantly
Stalls at Village Festival
On Saturday 4th June, we will have two stalls at the Jubilee Festival on the Lorkin Daniell Field. One stall will have Jubilee themed crafts for all ages to try out; the other will be a books, games and toys stall run by our 5T’s Group (a group that meets each Thursday afternoon to share a cup of tea and a chat – all are welcome). Do come and visit us!
Jubilee Songs of Praise
On Sunday 5 June we look forward to welcoming you to a special Jubilee Songs of Praise Service at the Old Church, either walking from St Mary’s at 5.30pm or joining us at the Old Church at 6.00pm.
Jubilee Leaf Canopy Art Installation
A huge thank you to everyone who has knitted leaves for the special Jubilee Canopy which is being put together on 31th May. The canopy reflects the theme of planting trees for the Jubilee, and the knitted leaves represent every resident of West Bergholt. The leaves will be sewn into netting which will be suspended from the ceiling. Do come in and see it, it will be in place for the next few weeks.
Licensing of a Lay Minister
All are invited to attend a special service on Sun 26 June @ 3pm at St Mary’s Church to mark Liz’s licensing as a Lay Minister. Liz has recently completed three years of part-time training and is looking forward to serving in the parish of West Bergholt.
The role of a Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) is varied and can include leading non-communion services, preaching, teaching, supervision and mentoring of other lay ministries, and taking funerals.
The service will be followed by afternoon tea in the Rectory Garden. All welcome!
Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Spaces
Come and visit the prayer spaces in church from now until 5th June. They are part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ global prayer initiative focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. They also link to prayer spaces in Revd Heather’s other parishes of Great and Little Horkesley, Boxted and Langham, Wormingford and Mount Bures so that you can visit all the churches in a sort of mini pilgrimage!
Services & Other Dates
Attending Jubilee Festival
Pentecost – Holy Communion (also on Zoom)
Jubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church
Messy Church—outdoor service incorporating the ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ Churchyard Wildlife Count. Everyone welcome to join in!
Holy Communion (also on Zoom)
Special service to mark the licensing of Liz Dixon as a Licensed Lay Minister
For those services which are also being zoomed, please contact the church office on 01206 243683 or [email protected] for the zoom link.
Our Team at St Mary’s
Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox email: [email protected] tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
Please pop along to the Rectory on Monday 16th May, between 10 am – 12 pm, at 1 Church Close, West Bergholt for tea/coffee and cake and lots of fun and fellowship whilst raising money for Christian Aid. This is an event for all the six parishes and all are very welcome!