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Archive for December, 2010

Watching the last episode of the excellent BBC Nativity earlier this week I was reminded of this song by Andrew Peterson (he of Matthew’s Begats). Here is a YouTube clip of it, with pictures from The Nativity Story from 2006. A Christmas Day treat for us all.

And talking of a Labour of Love, if you were in bed at a decent hour last night, you won’t have heard my fumblings on air with Ranvir Singh of Radio 5 Live. My very kind brother-in-law managed to record my brief moment of late-night fame, where I spoke about what Christmas means to me. It was recorded from the telly, which is why it’s in a YouTube clip.

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Just in case you don’t follow my Twitter stream, I thought I’d let you know that you can hear me on Radio 5 Live tonight, Christmas Eve. I’m joining a discussion on ‘What does Christmas mean to me?’ on the Stephen Nolan Show, although it’s being hosted by Ranvir Singh tonight.

Do pray, as I’m feeling quite nervous at this point. My dad was a radio journalist until he retired, so I have a family reputation to uphold. I’ll be enormously pleased if I manage to get through without saying ‘er’ and ‘um’ more often than I say something coherent.

In the meantime, we are chilling after a cheery Christmas Cracker service and waiting for the gammon to be finished. I boiled it in leftover Spiced Cranapple before giving it a final blast in the oven.

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Wishing you all God’s blessings for this Christmas and for 2011. Here’s a sand art clip telling the Christmas story, to complement the Passion one I posted at Easter.

He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High.

Luke 1v32

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So it seems we all love our mince pies and some of us really go to town and drink champers at our festive services. If we’ve not had to cancel them because of all the snow and ice. Sigh. Actually, we’ve had a very encouraging time here with our festive services. And are hoping that the most recent dump of snow followed by freezing conditions won’t dampen the enthusiasm of parishioners for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.

I hope this shows the main results okay for you – I’m trying a new way of displaying them which involves far less typing. As always, the ‘other’ category gave some fun and interesting answers. I think some of these answers locate the church – I’m guessing that the samosas aren’t on offer in a rural parish…

  • Stollen
  • Samosas
  • Sloe gin, apple juice, nuts, crisps etc
  • Fresh baked cookies
  • Yule log – we’re BIG fans!!

A single sad ‘other’ answer was that no refreshments were being served. I just hope that this was only because the respondent was thinking about the Midnight Communion service. Christmas is such a great time for God’s people to show expansive hospitality that I shudder when I think of churches who might not be taking up that opportunity.

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A good headline, don’tcha think? Well, it’s not totally true, but my Twitter stream is already reporting a smattering of cancelled Sunday services. The Vicar is about to call round and cancel our 9am service which is mainly attended by elderly folk. The snow here is a good 6″ deep, and still falling and once it’s frozen overnight it will be even more hazardous for our more senior members.

Most sadly of all, live nativities have been hit by non-delivery of donkeys. The one we were going to attend at our old church in Wolverhampton today was cancelled as both the donkey (coming from Shropshire) and baby Jesus (coming from Tipton) were unable to make an appearance because of the snowfall.

I’m just praying that attendance our Nativity Service tomorrow morning and the Carol Service in the evening isn’t drastically depleted. Some of our church (and Christmas choir) members live outside the parish (and up steep hills), so they may well struggle to get in. It’s such a special time of year for churches and it would be very sad to miss all the fun and celebrations and the opportunity to share  Christmas joy with folk who don’t often join us.

 

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What will you be serving at your festive services this Christmas? I have just taken delivery of a bulk purchase for our church – ten 2 litre vacuum jugs. This is so we can serve Spiced Cranapple, a non-boozy mulled wine, after our carol service and after the Christmas Cracker service on Christmas Eve.  With the jugs I’ll be able to mull the spices into the drink at home first and then take the hot beverage over to the church next door. We will also be providing mince pies, of course. And tea and coffee and biscuits too, for those not so keen on the festive delights. For the school carol service this morning I have two large choccie cakes with star sprinkles and some festive iced biscuits made with mixed spice.

What about you. Do you serve alcohol or not? With alcoholism and its attendant evils an ever-present problem in our parish, serving alcohol in church is something we tend to avoid. Do you mass cater with Asda mince pies or ask folk to bring their own, whether homemade or not? Time for a bit of sharing. I’ll close this poll at the weekend – I think we should all have our catering plans fixed by then.

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Just came across this lovely new video clip of  the Christmas story, taken from the most excellent Jesus Storybook Bible. I do hope this means that there are plans afoot to animate the whole thing.

[HT Justin Taylor]

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