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Children’s dates New Year 2019

Our children’s events start again in the New Year and all are very welcome!

Messy Church continues at the Reece Strawbridge Centre from 4.00-6.00 pm on Sundays January 13th, February 10th and March 10th.

Noah’s Ark at Colyford Hall from 1.15-2.45 pm continues fornightly on Thursdays, dates January 10th and 24th, February 7th and 28th, March 14th and 28th and on April 25th with egghunt and tea.

Welcome to Northleigh

Holyford Mission Community is delighted to welcome the parish of St Giles, Northleigh who are joining the community on an informal basis from 1st January 2019. We look forward to getting to know each other and sharing our life together. There is now a “Northleigh” page under the churches menu on this website where relevant information will be added as soon as possible.

January 2019

from Rev Anne Futcher

January 6th, known as Twelfth Night, is the official end of Christmas.  Time to recycle the tree, take down the cards and the Christmas decorations.  Let’s pause, though, before we pack away the crib, with its figures of the three wise men.  For this is their time.   In the Church calendar, January 6th marks the Epiphany; the festival of those mysterious strangers who, gliding across the desert on camels, follow the star all the way to Bethlehem. 

Back in November, I visited Abu Dhabi for a few days. One afternoon, I was lucky enough to be taken to a rather plush hotel to taste their ‘camelccino’ – camel milk cappuccino!  I could choose my topping: an outline of a camel either in chocolate or in gold leaf. Gold, I was told, was actually very good for me. But I played safe and opted for the chocolate.

It set me thinking about the gifts brought to the baby Jesus by the wise men; the gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Traditionally, these are thought to be the tributes of three great kings to one who is even greater: gold, a pure and precious metal, to symbolise his majesty; frankincense, burnt in temples to deities, his divinity; myrrh, used for embalming, his death.

Another interpretation considers how in ancient times gold was placed on open wounds to aid healing; frankincense to inhibit inflammation; myrrh to help digestion.  It suggests that the wise men might have been presenting the Holy Family not with tributes, but with gifts of healing. 

Others have understood both the visitors and their gifts rather differently. They believe the men were magicians who dealt in alchemy – changing base substances into gold. Canon Angela Tilby, for example, suggests that their surrender of the gifts meant the admission of fraud; the giving up of powers based on deception or magic.* She sees it as a sign that the birth of Jesus was ushering in a new order, one in which the powers of sorcery and enchantment have no value. 

Today enchantments of different kinds surround us still: the enticement of wealth; the power of charisma; the cheapening of life. Perhaps, as Angela Tilby suggests, the laying down of gold might signify our refusal to be driven by the love, or fear, or worship of money?  Perhaps the laying down of frankincense could mean our refusal to be swayed by the cult of charisma, or the culture ofcelebrity?  Perhaps the offering of myrrh could represent our refusal to be complicit with those institutions and practices that fail to honour and value human life?  Such an understanding could herald in a year inwhich we reflect more deeply on how we act as consumers and as citizens. 

However we might interpret the offering of those gifts to the baby Jesus, overall they signify a greater sense of wellbeing – spiritually, physically, ethically.  That’s a pretty good way to start the NewYear.  Happy Epiphany! 

* BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day – 06/01/2015

Posada – 7

After all the wind and rain today, the donkey had his beady eyes on Seaton Tramway. He secretly wondered if anybody would notice if they sneaked aboard…….

A fortifying snack on arrival at Emmanuel House, Ide…

Posada – 6

Day 15 and they are still following the star….

Nothing like a nice cuppa as you count off the days!

And tonight a suitably seasonal cultural interlude …

Posada – 5

After a long day traveling they stopped to rest at the Dog And Duck where they discussed many things about sheltered housing ,the main topic of conversation baby names for sure a son would be called Jesus••••••••••••••but if it’s a girl it will be called CHARDONNAY FEEFEE TRIXABEL

Off on their journey again this morning they have spied an accounts “CRW” that may come in handy with me Tax bill ” I wonder are donkey shoes a business expenses?

Posada 2018 – 4

And along the way they meet a strange visitor from a foreign land not mentioned in the Bible….

Chilli McNeice is particularly happy to welcome our overnight visitors!

Sharing a birthday!

Posada 2018 – 3

Reaching the centre of Colyton, Joseph is startled by the giant geraniums.

Posada 2018 – the journey continues

Over the mountains, Mary & Joseph & the donkey discover the small railway at Colston, before finding accommodation for the night….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posada 2018

And it came to pass that Joseph & Mary went up from Galilee, out of Nazareth unto Colyton, via the hills & valleys of Shute……….
(With apologies to devotees of the King James version of the bible).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you feel inspired to host the Holy Family & donkey on their journey, there are still spaces on the Advent timetable, located at the back of St Andrews…

Farewell to Hilary

Hilary’s last day serving in the Mission Community will be Friday 4th January, when she will be saying goodbye to our mission community congregations and to the wider community at a special service  at 7.30 pm in St Andrew’s Colyton. Refreshments afterwards. All very welcome.

Carol services in 2018

We start on Advent Sunday, 2 December, with Advent Carols in Branscombe at 6.00 pm.

Christmas carol services around the Mission Community at follows:
Sunday 16th December: 11.15 Branscombe, 3.30 Colyford, 5.00 Musbury
Sunday 23rd December: 6.30 Colyton
Sunday 30th December: 6.30 pm

We conclude with an Epiphany Carol Service on Sunday 20th January at 6.30 in Colyton.

Everyone is welcome to join us for our music and worship.

 

Christingles 2018

You’re invited to join us at one of our Christingles – a fun and wondrous time of worship for all the family.

3rd December (Monday) at 6.00 pm in Branscombe – together with the school.

9th December in Colyton, “Messy Christingle” – activties with Messy Church at 4.00 pm, including Christingle making; then the service starting at around 5.00, and with light refreshments.

22nd December (Saturday) at 4.00 pm in Southleigh.

Breakfast service 16 December

December 2018

Last year the radio station Classic FM conducted a poll to discover the nation’s favourite Christmas Carol.  Many of the well-known and well-loved carols feature in the top thirty:  Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, Once in Royal David’s City, O Little Town of Bethlehem and more.  Most of us love to sing carols.  They are often joyful, yet also have the power to touch us deeply.   My personal favourite comes in at number fifteen: It came upon a Midnight Clear.  This is the first verse:

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
‘Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all-gracious King.’
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

It is unusual because it doesn’t actually mention the birth of Jesus.  Instead it concentrates on the message of peace sung by the angels.  First published in 1849, it was written by Edmund Sears in Massachusetts at a time when America was gripped by social unrest as Civil War loomed.  That tension is reflected in a later verse in the carol:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And warring humankind hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise of mortal strife,
And hear the angels sing.

The poet longs for humanity to hush its noise for long enough to hear the love song of the angels and to kneel before the infant Jesus who brings the promise of love, joy and hope into the world.  The carol ends by expressing his longing for that day when:

Peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendours fling,
And all the world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing. 

There will be many opportunities to sing carols this Christmas.  Please do come and celebrate the birth of Jesus with great joy and thanksgiving.  And let’s take time together as well, to hush our noise, pray for peace, and listen for the love song of the angels.   Hilary