So we come to the end of the Church Year – the final Sunday in the liturgical season before Advent Sunday heralds a new year. Advent will be and is the season of preparation, not just preparing the food and festivities but preparing our hearts and stilling our minds so we can focus on the amazing news the angels brought to Mary and to shepherds.

And that news is not changed even though this year has been so restricted and difficult and separated.

This Sunday is Stir-Up Sunday in the old calendar, when Christmas Puddings, rich indulgent puddings would be stirred, full of tasty ingredients. And we have our own Turton Stir-Up led by Alice, on Zoom, and we can be stirred up together from our homes, even if not together in church. Look out for our Stir Up hymn in the Online service this week with Christmas Pudding making in the background!

And in more recent times, following the Roman Catholic lead the focus has been on Christ the King – we end the year remembering that Jesus Christ is Lord and King. the baby promised to Mary, born in Bethlehem and laid in a feeding trough, is the King and Lord of all.
We are wondering what we can do to celebrate Christmas; – we are planning some things but not sure they can happen.

We want to encourage people to take Christmas home – bring Christ into the home, rather than depend on going to church. God is with us in the home.

  • We are encouraging people to make an Advent Wreath, put it somewhere central in your home, make it as best you can, whatever way you wish, but we suggest four outside candles and an inner one for the middle (If you need help with a wreath let us know and we can help). You can use candles or tealights or… Fill the wreath with whatever you want on it. And each Sunday we are providing prayer and reflection for the Sunday and a theme for the week.

Look out for the resources which will be online, attached, downloadable or posted to those who need them.

  • We know this is a time of year when we miss those who have died, recently or several years ago, and the church website has space where you can light a virtual candle in memory of a loved one. See below for more details.
  • We hope to have a Christingle Service on Dec 6th – St James at 4.30 pm.

We can help you with the things you need to make your Christingle and if we can’t gather there will be some resources to share so we can have our own Christingle at home. But whichever way, please do consider giving to the Children’s Society as they need our help. Did you know that Turton Parish has raised over £46,000 over the years for the Children’s Society! Let’s keep going.
We will update on Christmas Services when we know more, but again, if we cannot go to the church, we can take Christmas home, or better discover Christ in our home, and thank God, and pray, and acknowledge the wonder of it all. We can share our creativity and our joys so others can enjoy them too, and we can encourage and be encouraged.

Read on for more information on what is happening.

Rev’d Peter Reiss: 20th Nov 2020