The Chellington Team Ministry
Eight churches have been brought together under the Chellington Team Ministry with two full-time stipendiary priests. These are: St.Peter’s Harrold & St.Mary’s Carlton with Harrold United Reform Chapel known as ‘Churches Together in Harrold & Carlton’, together with All Saints’ Odell, All Saints’ Turvey, St.Mary the Virgin Stevington, St.Lawrence Wymington, St.Mary the Virgin Podington (united benefice). Contacts for Churches Together in Harrold & Carlton, service times and the clergy letter are below.
As we grow older and more grumpy, the season of Advent makes more sense. Advent begins on Sunday 3rd December with an urgent and gritty plea:
“Beware keep alert for you do not know when the time will come. (St. Mark 13:33)
Advent is a difficult season to hold because the busyness and lure of a materialistic Christmas push it away. Yet Advent remains the same: WAITING for the arrival of the real God. Waiting in prayer and silence and reflection, sustained by scripture and sacrament. Time spent in prayerful preparation and contemplation makes Christmas even more special.
Christmas marks the arrival of the real God. A God so real that God becomes like us: a baby human growing and making the same mistakes as we have all made.
Jesus’ name means God with us and our real God is born without privilege or comfort. This God will shake the world in the same way that each new baby shakes the world, only on a cosmic scale. The Cosmic Christ changes the world forever by demonstrating God’s unconditional love for us. And that is why we all love Christmas because we all get the message that:
“God is Love and those who live in Love live in God and God lives in them”
(1 John 4:16).
And so it is right to feast and sing carols and exchange cards and gifts for such activity points us towards the gift of Christmas: Jesus.
It is also right to consider our response to God’s Love. God loves us so much that God is prepared to go through death to Resurrection.
Are we prepared to follow?
Are we prepared to let God change our hearts and souls?
For that is what Christmas is: a soul-changing event.
When we have eaten our Christmas dinner and been thankful for our gifts and the presence of family and friends, we need to pause and take a further step thanking God for Jesus’ rebirth in our hearts, minds and souls. Christmas should make us new and different people: God-bearers in everything we say and think and do.
We wish you a very peaceful and joyful Christmas and a wonderful New Year. God bless you and all those you love.
Jacqueline and Peter
Peter Turnbull and Jacqueline Curtis