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…
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.
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.
This Thursday evening we are hosting the staff and governors of our church school here at the Vicarage for ‘mulled wine and mince pies’. That’s what our invite said, anyway. But as many of the staff have to drive home, we will also be serving a wonderful non-alcoholic alternative, given to me by another Vicar’s-wife-in-training, when the Vicar was at theological college. Her original name for it was spiced cider, but that is not very helpful, as it really is non-alcoholic, so I’ve renamed it Spiced Cranapple. It is mulled winey in flavour and not too sweet, as some non-alcoholic punches can be. Serve it at your carol service or at the Vicarage and enjoy!
Enjoy the warmth
1l cranberry juice
1l apple juice
250ml (1 cup) orange juice
3-4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbspns sugar
1 orange, halved and sliced into rounds
Combine all the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow spices to infuse. Can also bring to boil and transfer straight to thermos pots and leave to infuse that way for church events (and keep leftovers warm for Vicarage use the rest of the week…mmmmm).
Anyway. Best get on with the pastry now. Not sure how many mince pies I’ll need for Thursday but I definitely need to start making them today.