The opening day of November was the monthly MINIBUS trip to Bury Market, always a very popular trip. There were several other outings throughout the weeks that were to follow culminating in a further trip to that world famous market just a few days before Christmas.
On REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY we had a full house when we were joined by Woodlands Scout Group who we jointly sponsor. As eleven o’clock neared all eyes were on the T.V. as we united with the country in observing the Two Minute silence direct from the Cenotaph, Whitehall. Then we watched as H.R.H. The Prince of Wales laid the first wreath before we continued with the service. Alan laid a poppy wreath on our own War Memorial accompanied by two of the Scouts. There were many favourable comments afterwards about this service and the fact we had joined in with the national Act of Remembrance.
PASTORATE SUNDAY on the 19th. witnessed Alan leading a Communion Service at Woodlands in the morning. Later we shared in ’Sunday at 5’ with a buffet tea and viewed a DVD of the Buckingham Palace Garden Party attended by Alan and Nichola earlier in the year. This seemed appropriate as it was the day before H.M. The Queen and H.R.H. Price Ph’llp were to celebrate their Platinum Wedding anniversary.
The Kingsway CHRISTMAS FAIR was the following Saturday. An array of stalls provided from all of the partners within the building. Our tw0 stalls raised £256 for general funds.
On the 30th. we held a SPECIAL CHURCH MEETING to discuss various things to do with the Missional Displeship/Partnership proposals. Oh dear, where was everyone? We recorded our lowest attendance for a meeting ever!
ADVENT SUNDAY was on the 3rd. December and this was the first occasion to light an AdVent candle on the ring. The service itself was one of Readings and hymns for the day and we concluded by serving stollen cake with the refreshments.
The ELDERS from both churches enjoyed a lovely Christmas Meal at Malthouse’Farm on the 5th. and a couple of days later we hosted a buffet luncheon for serving and retired ministers and their spouses in the lounge. There was plenty of conversation and catching up as the twenty plus in attendance enjoyed this opportunity to be together in our delightful building.
MESSY CHURCH in November had been on the theme of Remembrance, but for December We stuck to the traditional story of Christmas which was reflected throughout all of what Was said and done. There was a splendid turnout and we had a Bring and Share Meal with plenty for everyone
The FESTIVAL SERVICE was on the 17th. and this was the first occasion carols were sung. We built the Crib and then had a story from Christine, assisted with the technology by Margaret Mo. and visual aids appearing throughout provided by Robyn and Rayne.
Tom”W’s mince pies and cakes provided by Dorothy were an added bonus as we supped our brews at the end of the service.
A midweek event on the 19th. was CAROL SINGING around the building. This has been a feature of the past few years and was repeated this year with depleted numbers at the beginning but a larger number by the time we finished! We started on the top floor landing and even received a compliment by a workman doing a repair to a door! Then made our way down to the lounge by which time we had almost doubled in number. Was it the lure of yet more mince pies and mulled wine?
CHRISTMAS EVE soon arrived and a joint Lessons and Carols service had been planned when Woodlands folk would visit and we would have a further opportunity of worshipping as one. Whilst it was a pleasant service as we listened to the readings and sung those every familiar carols, it was perhaps less well attended than might have been expected. However, it was Christmas Eve and perhaps many had other commitments that morning. Later that day Woodlands hosted the annual CHRISTINGLE SERVICE which is additionally supported by Feniscowles Methodist Church in addition to those from our pastorate. Tonight there wasn’t an empty seat and what a splendid sight it was when the Christingles were all lit and by their light we sung ‘ Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king’ with such conviction. John Howard-Norman (Methodist Circuit Superintendent Minister and recently appointed minister at Feniscolwes) delivered a short address on ’Jesus, Light to this world’.
After last year’s successful introduction of serving seasonal refreshments before CHRISTMAS MORNING SERVICE we repeated it again. We were quite bowled over at the number who came along early to participate all ambling into the worship area for the service itself in readiness for the actual celebration. Extra chairs being hurriedly put out as today numbers exceeded all expectation. With some children present as well‘~ an added bonus to give for a most joyous Christmas Day gathering. in a brief homily Alan spoke of how the lives of all those involved in the events of that first Christmas had been changed forever, just as ours can be when we dedicate our lives to following Jesus.
NEW YEAR’S EVE again saw the three churches uniting at Woodlands for ‘Carols round the Christmas Tree’. It was a glorious winter’s morning and no excuse for folk not to come due to the weather! And come they did, again pleasantly filling the church as over one hundred joined to sing carols at this post-Christmas service jointly led by Alan and John. An uplifting end to Christmas worship and a good start for a new year.
To all who have assisted with planning of the Christmas events our sincere appreciation and to those of you that supported them.