THE PARISH OF ALL SAINTS, HEATH

& ST ALBANS, HOLMEWOOD

COMMUNITY CONTACT

December 2019 / January 2020

Page 1    Contents

Page 3/4 Letter from The Ministry Team

Page 5   Homeless People

Page 6    High Days & Holy Days in December

Page 7    Experience the joy of Advent

Page 8    The best ever Present

 

Page 9    Christmas Tree Festival

Page 10  Christmas Prayer. Christmas essage

Page 11   Millennium Yew Trees

Page 12   Flowers in Church

Page 13   Wake up! It's Christmas!

Page 14   Parish Registers

Page 15   Stagecrafts Concert

Page 16   Christine Aid

Page 17   All in the month of December

Page 18   Robert Louis Stevenson 

Page 19   'Tis the season for Angels!

Page 20   Those Newsletters

Page 21   Book Reviews for December

Page 23   Coffee Morning Thanks : Popular Toys this Christmas

Page 24   Knit & Natter : Church Shop

Page 25   Smile Lines

Page 26   Good King Wenceslas

Page 27   The Christmas Caterpillar

Page 28   Services in January

Page 29   Heath Village Hall News

Page 30    Adverts

 1

Dear Friend,

You will no doubt be hearing song lyrics such as 'Joy to the World,' and 'tis the season to be jolly,' over the weeks leading up to Christmas. It is indeed a time to celebrate and to remember with great joy the gift of Jesus into the world from our Father in heaven. And so, why do we let it be a season filled with stress and hard work and family tiffs? It's so easy to get caught up in the way that we are encouraged by the media and retailers; who tell us how we should celebrate Christmas. As a result we fill our time and efforts with all the things that we think that we need to do and buy to help us to have a happy Christmas. We seem to live life in the fast lane and race around focussing on the 'doing' and as a result we miss out on time just 'being' and 'enjoying.'

In reality we don't need any of that to experience the joy and peace that God offers to us freely. The reason for the season really is Jesus! And his birth was greatest gift to humankind that we could ever receive.

There is so much uncertainty and change at the moment. We face a general election, and the leaders of our country seem to be struggling to serve the people. Times of change and uncertainty are already stressful for many.

But as Christians we are assured of the changelessness of God. God is the same as yesterday and will be the same forever. His love for each of us as individual people can be relied upon.    That is surely something to celebrate.

As we head into the new year, with all the opportunities and disappointments that it will bring, we can hold on to the hand of God, knowing that the way that He leads us is safe and right. We often use these words in our service to end the year that give reassurance and hope.

 

'And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And He replied:     “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

– From “The Gate of the Year” by Minnie Louise Haskins'

 

We wish you a joyful and peaceful Christmas season, and that the coming year will be filled with fresh hope born of a true faith in Christ. It would be lovely to see you in church.

Love and Prayers,

Carolyn and Ivan

 

The Ministry

 

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And is it true,

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,

A Baby in an ox's stall ?

The Maker of the stars and sea

Become a Child on earth for me ?

 

(John Betjeman)

 

 

 

 3/4

 

Homeless people at risk of modern slavery

Staff and volunteers at night shelters are being urged to be on the lookout for signs of exploitation among guests in a campaign recently launched by the Church of England’s anti-slavery initiative.

More than 1,000 posters and other materials aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of modern slavery amongst homeless people have been distributed to night shelters across the country by The Clewer Initiative, the Church of England’s response to modern slavery.

The Let’s Talk initiative is encouraging night shelters and other outreach services such as soup kitchens to share concerns with the Modern Slavery Helpline or local support services.

The signs of modern slavery amongst homeless people could include:

  Unusual anxiety about people in positions of authority and       extreme fear of being watched

   Working for no or little pay

   Working in the most common sectors for modern slavery         such as construction and hand car washes

    Not being allowed to leave their place of work

    Having no control of their ID

    Being approached on the street, outside a shelter or at            drop-in by someone offering work

     Signs of physical abuse or untreated injuries

There are also guidance notes for project managers and volunteers in night shelters on the steps they can take to safeguard their guests from this danger. These include warning guests of the dangers of modern slavery.

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Alastair Redfern, Chair of The Clewer Initiative, said:

“With rising numbers of homeless people on our streets, it is even more important that we are able to recognise the signs.

With the Let’s Talk resources we will equip the Church to understand what modern slavery looks like, and how they can respond to protect  the vulnerable.”

                                                                                                             (Parish Pump)

 

5

 High Days and Holy Days for December          (Parish Pump)

                         6      St Nicholas

                          21      Winter Solstice

           24     Christmas Eve

           26     St Stephen

                           28       Holy Innocents

21 December               Winter Solstice

A Midwinter festival has been a part of life since pre-Christian times. When the hours of daylight are fewest, the warmth of the sun weakest, and life itself seemingly at a standstill, our ancestors, the pagan peoples of Europe and Western Asia, kept festival by lighting bonfires and decorating their buildings with evergreens.

Perhaps they believed that the dying sun could be enheartened by fire, and the life of the buried seed assured by the presence of evergreen branches.

With the advent of Christianity, the Spring gods became identified with Christ, and the birthday of the sun with the birthday of the Light of the World.

The early church father Tertullian did not approve of Christmas decorations. “Let those who have no light in themselves light candles!… You are the light of the world, you are the tree ever green….” But by the time of St Gregory and St Augustine, four centuries later, this had changed.  Pope Gregory instructed Augustine not to worry about harmless outward customs, as long as the right God be worshipped through them.  And so many Anglo-Saxon customs were never discarded, but simply endowed with a new significance.

By 1598 one John Stow of London wrote how: ‘Against the feast of Christmas, every man’s house, as also their parish churches, were decked with holme, ivie, bayes, and whatsoever the season of the yeare afforded to be greene.’

 

6

Experience the Joy of Advent

 

Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.’  Luke 2:10

Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.

The word ‘Advent’ is from the Latin word ‘adventus’ meaning ’coming’. Sometimes called ‘Little Lent’, it’s a time to prepare our hearts for the future Second Coming, as well as the birth of Christ.

We celebrate the season with advent calendars, candles and evergreen wreaths – symbolising Christ as Light of the world, bringing new and everlasting life.

Here are 7 simple tips to help you experience and share the joy of Advent! Connect with your inner child: Think back to the time when you were a child, on the simple things that made you happy at Christmas.

Focus only on the good and feel the joy of Christmas come flooding back! Keep it simple: This year, go for gifts and cards that share the meaning of the season, shop early and stay within your budget.

Be people focused: Remember the story of Mary and Martha – keep meals simple and allow yourself time and space to focus on enjoying the company of your guests.

Make Room for Jesus: Take some time at the beginning of each day to read your Bible, meditate on Scripture and pray. Focus on giving thanks to God for His gift of Christ to the world and for all He has done for us. Me Time: God wants us to prosper in body, soul and spirit, so try to eat healthy, don’t overindulge, take time for long walks and enjoy the good and simple things in life!

Wear a smile, act and talk positively, do small things with great love, be on the lookout for opportunities to do good to people. Give to the homeless, visit the sick, or take gifts to lonely neighbours.

Wear a smile and share the Joy! Finally, being joyful is a choice, it’s not about your circumstances. So, decide to be thankful this season.

 

If people ask you about your joy, don’t be afraid to share your faith. Simply explain to them that ‘Christ lives in my heart, and He can live in yours too.’

by Norma Murrain 

  

7

 

 

  The best present ever!

 

When I was a boy of about 11, I received my best Christmas present ever – a pair of new football boots. I was so excited, and had been waiting for them for many weeks beforehand. They were the very latest style, black with a white flash down each side, and rubber studs. I can still picture them in my mind, and still feel the excitement that Christmas morning as I wore them for the first time. I didn’t want to take them off again!

As time has passed by, I am less concerned about presents like that but more aware of the greatest gift of all which is at the heart of our Christmas celebrations – the gift of God’s own Son to be our Saviour. Every year I seek to remind myself of what an amazing thing it is to have received the gift of salvation through His coming into the world. It truly is the gift that money could not buy, the gift that will never become outdated or outgrown, the gift that continues to satisfy our hearts.

The apostle Paul, when thinking of the coming of Christ into the world, exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!’ (1Corinthians 9:15) Nothing compares to it, and no human words can do it justice. He also reminds us of what a sacrifice it was for Him, and how much we have benefitted by His coming: ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.’ (2Corinthians 8:9)

This Christmas make sure you unwrap the wonderful gift God has prepared for you in Christ and receive that salvation joyfully into your heart. You will not be disappointed.

Tony Horsfall

 

8

Christmas Tree Festival

           in All Saints Church

Thursday 28 November -

Monday 2 December

(5 days)

Church open each day -

11 am  -  6.00 pm

 

Donations received

will be given to -

Bluebell Wood

 

Children’s Hospice

 

and

Helen’s Trust

 

 

9


 A Christmas Prayer                         by Daphne Kitching

 

Lord, as I enter into the fast-paced season ahead, help me walk slowly and quietly.  Let me stop and listen to the angels sing of the greatest news ever told.  Let my heart, mind and soul join the chorus. “Glory in the Highest!! The Messiah has been born!” Among all the bright sparkling lights and cheery holiday tunes, let my spirit travel once again toward Bethlehem to honour and worship Jesus, my King,  The Prince of Peace, the Lord of Hosts, Mighty Counsellor, Son of God, the Lamb. All Your love, mercy and power somehow made flesh in the tiny form of a humble baby born in a manger.

Let me worship the only one who is worthy to take our sin away and open the gates of all eternity!

 

Christmas Message

Away in a manger the baby lay,

No blankets or pillows – just some hay. Shepherds watching their flocks by night Angels appear midst blinding light.

Wise men travelling from afar

Following a guiding star,

Herod filled with rage within Planning to kill this new born king.

What can this mean for us today?

Just a story some would say,

Perhaps we need to think it through,

A Saviour born – for me, for you?                              By Megan Carter

 

10

Millennium yew trees – 20 years on

 

20 years ago, as 1999 drew to a close, the Church of England marked the Millennium by distributing thousands of young yew trees across England. In all, about 7000 seedlings were given to parishes requesting them.

 

It was explained that the yew tree could be seen as ‘a metaphor for the life of faith in this country over the last 4000 years’, as well as a symbol of the spiritual life, ‘with its dormant periods and its coming to life’.

 

David Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation, said that the yew trees were “planted in the spirit of a living link with the birth of Jesus, and as a symbol that, if we wanted this millennium yew to live for another 2000 years, we would need to care for and cherish our local environment.”

 

Mr Shreeve believes that the project made an impact on the Church, helping to pave the way for a greater emphasis on caring for Creation, including the appointment of more diocesan environment officers.

 

Yews are the oldest living things in Britain. The Woodland Trust explains that a yew is not even considered ‘ancient’ unless it is over 900 years old.

 

The oldest tree in the UK, the Fortingall Yew, is estimated to be between 2000 and 3000 years old.

 

(Parish Pump)

 

 

 

11

 

FLOWERS IN CHURCH

All Saints:

                  Winifred Richards

                  Audrey Wigfield

                  Joe Szadura

 

 

St Albans:

                   Essie Wilks

                   Arthur Buckley    from family and friends

 

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FLOWERS FOR CHRISTMAS IN ALL SAINTS

If you would like to have flowers in All Saints at Christmas remembering those we love and miss, please let Joan Doody

(850112) have your request in plenty of time  by Sunday 15th December please.

The displays will be ready for the Carols by Candlelight

   Service on Sunday 22nd December at 6.30 pm in All Saints.

 

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Carols by Candlelight’

A special service of readings and carols

on Sunday 22nd December at 6.30 pm

in All Saints Church, Heath.

 

 

12

Wake up! It’s Christmas!

Do you remember the excitement of Christmas Eve when you were a child? There was so much to look forward to the next day, and when you went to bed that night, probably later than usual, you were buzzing with excitement. Eventually you fell asleep and then the next morning you were woken by either a sibling or a parent, saying ‘Wake up! It’s Christmas!’

As we get older the excitement of Christmas probably fades somewhat and we perhaps feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done and worn out by the busyness around us. But still it is good to ‘wake up to Christmas’ in the sense of becoming conscious again of what the Christmas season is all about.

What are we celebrating really? The coming of the Saviour of the world, born as a little babe in the stable at Bethlehem. God’s salvation plan coming to pass, and the opportunity for us to be brought into relationship with Him again. These are wondrous truths, and we need to wake up again to the meaning of Christmas.

Bethlehem was a busy place when Christ was born. The inns were full, with visitors returning for the census, there was no room for the young couple from Nazareth. In the busyness many must have missed what was happening right before their eyes that night as the babe was born. The greatest event in history but because they were not ‘awake’ they missed it!

Don’t be asleep this Christmas time. Don’t be so busy that you fail to notice the significance of what we are celebrating. Let the wonder of it capture your heart again and create in you a sense of gratitude and thankfulness for all that God has done for you. The Saviour has come, rejoice and be glad!

 

Tony Horsfall

 

13

Parish Registers:

Baptism:

 

 

3 November         Ollie Steven Wagstaffe

17 November       Billy Ryan Podmore

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

www.heath-holmewoodchurch.org

David Morris  -  Website Manager

Do check these web-sites:

Church website:    www.heath-holmewoodchurch.org

Church email address:   heath.church@btinternet.com

Diocesan website:     www.derby.anglican.org

Twitter: Follow the Diocese:  http://twitter.com/DioceseofDerby

Community Contact  -  e-mail address  -  please send    contributions for the  magazine as rich text files to      sandy.tye@uwclub.net            Many thanks,  Sandy

 

14

Merry Christmas

from

Stagecrafts

Join us with Matt and 

his friends for their

Annual Christmas Concert

on

 

Wednesday 18th December 

 

7.30 pm

in All Saints Church 

 

Tickets: £5.00 (on the door)

 

15

Instead of sending a card to other members of the church this year, how about signing the big card and popping the money saved in a Christian Aid envelope?

See  Anne Adlington and Jackie Allsopp

 

Gifts and Giving:

No doubt you have already done some Christmas shopping and exercised your mind greatly on the issue of what to give. Can the gifts you give reflect Christmas ideals?  It may be that some of your family and friends would far rather you spent money in a way that would do some long term good, than buy them something that they don’t really need and Christian Aid make it possible to give alternative gifts.

Present Aid     Gifts that keep giving

Present Aid is Christian Aid’s virtual gift shop offering a selection of fun and quirky gifts – perfect for Christmas

But what, I can hear you ask, is a virtual gift?   Okay, we’ll be completely honest with you. Your special person doesn’t  actually get a goat or tap.   What happens is that the money you spend goes towards supporting our work in the developing world – helping to put an end to poverty.

How?  Well, whatever present you buy, the money goes towards one of the project areas represented by your gift.  This year these range from antibiotics, emergency disaster kits, clean water, weaving looms,  a goat or a cow  etc.

Giving a Present Aid gift means giving someone else the chance to improve their life.  And the best part is Present Aid gifts keep on giving happiness long after they’ve been given.

                     Choose a gift, change a life

Please donate in lieu of cards in the Christian Aid Envelopes provided, we will send the money off early in December.

 

                                     Thank you        Anne and Jackie

 

16

All in the month of December it was:-

125 years ago, on 3rd Dec 1894 Robert Louis Stevenson died.

This Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet, essayist and travel writer was best known for his novels Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

125 years ago, on 29th Dec 1894  Christina Rossetti, British poet and hymn-writer, died.

100 years ago, on 1st Dec 1919  Lady Nancy Astor became the first female Member of Parliament (MP) to take her seat in the House of

Commons.

80 years ago, on 1st Dec 1939 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made his first ever appearance, in a children’s colouring book given away by Montgomery Ward stores in the USA.

75 years ago, on 16th Dec 1944 to 16th Jan 1945  World War II’s Battle of the Bulge took place in Belgium.

40 years ago, on 20th Dec 1979  the British Government announced that council tenants would be given the right to buy their homes under a new Housing Act (effective from October 1980)

20 years ago, on 31 Dec 1999 the London Eye, at that time the world’s tallest Ferris wheel – was officially opened on the banks of the River Thames. Because of mechanical problems, it didn’t open to passengers until 9th March 2000.

15 years ago, on 26th Dec 2004 the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (also known as the Boxing Day Tsunami) took place. A massive undersea earthquake near Sumatra caused a devastating tsunami that swamped coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Africa.  It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, killing over 230,000 people in 14 countries.

 

17

Tim Lenton remembers a much-loved children’s author -

Robert Louis Stevenson died 125 years ago, on 3rd

December 1894. The Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and travel journalist was best known for novels such as Treasure Island  and Kidnapped.

He travelled widely, but always suffered from serious bronchial trouble. During his early years his parents and nurse immersed him in Presbyterianism and Calvinism, and although he rebelled and became an atheist in his twenties, by the time he died he had returned to the basic doctrines of Christianity.

His family were lighthouse engineers, and he spent a great deal of time as a child with his mother’s father, Lewis Balfour, who was a Church of Scotland minister. But although he was given both those names, he dropped Balfour completely and changed Lewis to Louis.

He married an American divorcee, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, and after trying various climates to ease his lung disease, the

family ended up in Samoa, where he was much loved by the locals. He died at 44, not of lung disease, but of a stroke.

He was much admired by distinguished fellow writers during his life, though he was overlooked during the early part of the 20th century before his outstanding

qualities as a writer for adults were once again appreciated.

(Parish Pump)

 

18

‘Tis the season for Angels!

Angels make a big appearance in the story of Christmas, but over the next few weeks other kinds of angels will be making appearances throughout the country, on streets and inside nightclubs.

Teams of Street Angels and Club Angels will work hard this month to help to keep communities and people, especially within the night-time economy, safe.   In Chesterfield we have ‘Street Pastors’

At an hour when most of us are safe at home in bed, these volunteer angels will be out on patrol, offering people in need some flip-flops or a plaster, a bottle of water or time to chat.  They will make a massive difference as a result.  Paul Blakey, founder of Street Angels, tells how earlier this year one of the Street Angels teams came across a young man holding his head and kneeling over, very dazed, having had his head bashed against a wall. “The team took him to a safe hub and left him. Three months later this same man came to say ‘thank you for saving my life’. It turns out the safe hub team had got him to A&E and a brain scan revealed a bleed on the brain.

“So, this Christmas do pray for our teams out on the streets and in clubs. Or maybe you could even consider volunteering if there is a team near you!”

Meanwhile, if you are going on a night out yourself, have a SafeNightOut.party and remember these top tips:

Stay with friends, don’t go off alone, and have contact info somewhere other than your phone.

Ladies – carry a pair of slip-on shoes for when high heels are unbearable. Always eat before a night out and don’t start cooking once you get home. Know what you are drinking and how much you have – mix alcohol with soft drinks.

Pick a venue right for you – if you feel out of place, leave!

Keep your taxi money in another part of your handbag / wallet.

Take a picture of the taxi and taxi drivers ID and message it to a friend.

 

(Parish Pump)

19

Those newsletters inside their Christmas card…

Brace yourself – this is the month when many of your distant friends and relatives will be sending you their Christmas card with the Christmas Newsletter tucked inside.

You will read all about Grannie’s arthritis and treatment, how Rupert’s progress on the violin is amazing, how their summer holiday cruise of the Med was stupendous, exactly where the dog got lost for a day in Wales, how the kitchen has been re-furbished, and how extraordinarily well Helen is doing at university.

You may groan, but don’t dismiss all those little bits of ‘wonderful everyday’ news.  For of such minor triumphs and tragedies most of daily life is made.  And don’t blame your relatives/friends if they have somewhat ‘enhanced’ their yearly news roundup – this may be their one chance to star in a drama.

Just remember – there is nothing to stop you from sending a Christmas Newsletter back to them…  and you can also write what you like!

 

 

(Parish Pump)

 

20

Book Reviews for December  -

(Parish Pump)

Wake Up to Advent! – The Archbishop of York’s Advent Book, 2019

By John Sentamu, SPCK, £9.99

‘This is the hour of crisis: it is high time for you to wake out of sleep, for deliverance is nearer to us now than it was when first we believed.’

St Paul’s encouraging words to the Christians in Rome are the springboard for the Archbishop of York’s Advent book for 2019. With prayers and stimulating questions for reflection at the end of each daily meditation, here is fresh spiritual food for the Advent journey – pressed down, shaken together and running over. Walk alongside Archbishop Sentamu this Advent, as he discusses the meaning and influence of those four gospel imperatives in this lively and invigorating book

In the Bleak Midwinter – Advent and Christmas with Christina Rossetti

 

By Rachel Mann, Canterbury Press, £12.99

 

Best known for her poems-turned-carols In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Came Down at Christmas, Rossetti’s rich and wondrous faith provides an inspiring seasonal companion.

 

For each day from Advent Sunday to the Epiphany, Rachel Mann selects a poem and reflects on it, drawing on Rossetti’s many other writings including her devotional journals and commentary on biblical narratives. At a time when commercial pressures are at their most intense, this volume aims to lead readers to an encounter with God’s time and space, to find our true identity beyond all that would limit and diminish our humanity.

 

 

21

Thank you

 

Charity Coffee Morning 18th October 2019

I would like to thank everyone who supported enjoyable event. It was a great team effort and this was rewarded with a wonderful amount of money raised £440.00. This has been divided equally between Teenage Cancer Unit Sheffield and Macmillan Cancer

Support

A huge thank you to all for the items donated for the raffle, tombola, cake stall and to sell on the day.

Once again I would to thank you to the Heath PCC for their continued support.

Carol Austin

**************************************************************** Popular toys for Christmas?

 

According to the toy shop Hamleys, board games are going to be popular this Christmas – but not as you knew them.

Instead, the ‘smart’ version of Pictionary has been called one of the ‘must-have’ toys this Christmas.  It is just one of many classic board games which have been given a digital makeover, including Monopoly.

 

Another toy that is set to be popular is the Scruff-a-Luv Rescue Pet.  The toy begins its life as a matted furry ball, and with love and care from the child, it is slowly revealed to be a pink or blue dog or cat. The toy features over 35 sounds and interactions with the child, from shivering and whimpering to feeding and even the hiccups.

 

23

Knit & Natter


love knitting or crafts?

love to natter?

join us at St Albans on Tuesdays (after lunches)

from 1.30 - 4.00 pm

for more information: Rose Hardwick 01246 854683

 

CHURCH SHOP

in St Albans

on

Mondays - 9.00 am - 12 noon

Tuesdays - 9.00 am - 12 noon

 

24

  Smile Lines………………………                        (Parish Pump)

 Toe…..

If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do astronauts get? Missile toe.

 

Bakery…..

Did you hear about the bakery that was burgled at Christmas? Everything was stollen!

Exchange…..

My friend reviewed her young son’s fill-in-the-blank homework.

One line was: “At Christmas, we exchange gifts with ____.”

His quick response: “Receipts.”

Biscuit…..

As we were putting out biscuits for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve, one fell on the floor.  When I picked it up and placed it back on the plate, my four-year-old was horrified. “You can’t do that!” “Don’t worry,” I assured him. “Father Christmas will never know.” He shot me a suspicious look. “So, he knows if I’ve been bad or good, but he doesn’t know the biscuit fell on the floor?”

Chimney…..

Why doesn’t Father Christmas suffer from claustrophobia when he climbs down the chimney? Because he has had his flue jab.

Good advice…..

If you have a lot of tension this Christmas and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: ‘Take two aspirin' and ‘Keep away from children.’

 

 

 

25

26 December             Look out for Wenceslas

 

Most of us probably know that on December 26th (the Feast of Stephen) ‘Good king Wenceslas’ looked out, writes David Winter. We probably also know that the snow lay round about, ‘deep and crisp and even’. Beyond that, he’s just someone in a carol that’s not often sung nowadays.

 

However, Wenceslas was a real person, a duke, and effectively king of Bohemia in the 10th century. In modern terms, he was Czechoslovakian. He was known as a generous and kind monarch, deeply Christian and given to good works.

 

So the story in the carol by the Victorian hymn-writer J.M. Neale, while possibly fictitious, is at least in line with his recognised character. ‘Page and monarch’ braved the ‘bitter weather’ and the ‘cruel wind’s wild lament’ to take food and fuel to a poor man living rough.

 

Neale’s carol was enormously popular in the 19th century, because it perfectly expressed Victorian Christian ideals of benevolence and alms-giving.  Christian men of ‘wealth and rank’ are urged to help the poor, and so ‘find blessing’. Ignoring the

 

‘wealth and rank and men’ bit, it’s still good advice, at Christmas or any other time.

 

 

 

26

The Christmas Caterpillar!

An old joke about Christmas presents is that men always get given socks by unimaginative present givers.

Well, I must say I always seem to get exactly the right number of socks, it always seems to roughly equal the ones that wear out each year. And some socks are really fun!

But, if we had more feet, we could enjoy more socks!

The Christmas Caterpillar

Sometimes, upon a Christmas day

I wonder if there’s any way

That Christmas might be quite a treat For those who have a few more feet!

I really love my Christmas socks

That fill, each year, my Christmas box O Santa, festive stocking filler I wish I were a caterpillar!

 

By Nigel Beeton

 

27

Services in January

 5th January       Epiphany

                       10.30 am      Morning Worship at St Albans

                   6.30 pm       Evening Worship in All Saints

                       12th January       Epiphany 1

                       10.30 am      Morning Worship at St Albans

                        6.30 pm       Holy Communion in All Saints

                       19th January       Epiphany 2

                       10.30 am      Holy Communion at St Albans

                        6.30 pm       Evening Worship in All Saints

                       26th January       Epiphany 3

                       10.30 am      Morning Worship at St Albans

                        6.30 pm       Holy Communion in All Saints

 

 

28

Heath Village Hall

 

Heath Village Hall has had a ZOLL automated DEFIBRILLATOR

Installed on the exterior wall. A step by step on how to use it can be Found on the village website. www.heathvillage.org.uk

 

      Coffee Mornings       10 am – 12.00 noon on Saturdays. 

                                       7th December   4th January 2020

Heath Garden Society -

The Garden Society meets on the last Wednesday of each month.

Visitors are welcome to all  our  meetings.   7.30 - 9.30 pm.   £3.00 per session. For further information contact Chris Hasty on 850361

Meditation group - 

Fortnightly classes on alternate Tuesdays from 7.00 – 9.00 pm If you are interested in this group contact May McWilliams     may1@talktalk.net  or 01246 854216

 

Yoga - 

Wednesdays 5.00 to 6.30 pm. All abilities welcome.

Contact Rachel Armstrong at rachel@stretcharmstrongyoga.co.uk 

Pilates Class - 

Mondays 6 - 7 pm. and 7 - 8 pm Instructor Rachel Pettet. Cost  4 sessions for £8.50

Contact rachel@villagepilates.co.uk 07891090746

 

Mini Movers Dance  -

Parent and Toddler group meet Thursdays 10.30 - 11.15 am £4 per class

Contact Jo Hooper - email johooper@live.co.uk  or  mobile 07783081135

Fitsteps Fab -

A new fitness class on Wednesdays 10-11 am and Friday 7-8 pm

£5 per class or 10 classes for £40. A fun way to keep fit through old style dance steps. 

Contact Samantha Draper - 07891571488 or email - samanthadraper@live.com

Booking Heath Village Hall -               cost of hire £10 per hour

Bookings Manager  Peter George - hvhbookings@gmail.com  or telephone 07836382142

More details about the village and events can be found on village website www.heathvillage.org.uk

 

Lynda Oliver Tel: 853879 

                                        Email: hvca.secretary@gmail.com

 

 

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ST ALBANS  LUNCH CLUB

 

on Tuesdays  

Traditional lunch such as 

Shepherd’s Pie

Chicken Casserole

Sausage & Mash etc.

with fresh vegetables

followed by a variety of sweets and tea and coffee

£3.00

See the menu on the notice board and join us for a

lovely meal and time to chat with friends

 

 

 

Churchyard searches

If you are a friend or relation of someone buried in the churchyard and are looking for information regarding the  location of a grave or if you need a register search to be       undertaken Lynne Sargeant will do her best to help you and her contact details are:

lynniesar59@gmail.com  Tel: 01246 856280.

      When you make contact the first and most important question you will be asked is the name and date of the first person to be interred in the grave you are searching for, so please do your best to have to hand any information you can find.

           A charge may be made for undertaking the search

 

 

A Prayer Circle 'say one for me’ - yes we will How it  works

 

Any cause for concern can be brought to God in Prayer It may be you have a job interview, a hospital appointment, a crisis or emergency that needs prayer: in which case:   please contact either

 

Ivan Spenceley   07831428638  or   Ann Pratt    07812375420 either by text or by phone

 

Texting is easiest because it means the request can be passed efficiently around the prayer chain.

 

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