Rev. Robert Thewsey, Rector


Dear friends

I don’t know if it’s something to do with getting older, but time really does seem to be flying by: it really does not seem to be a whole year since Christmas was last with us, but here it is again. I’m sure that when I was a child Christmas always took ages to come along, and the last few days leading up to the event seemed to last forever…..especially Christmas Eve, which seemed never to end.
But now, the days and weeks fly by, and there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done, and Margaret and I find ourselves dashing around in a mad panic – but I am also quite sure that we are not alone in this respect.
One of the most difficult tasks that we seem to face at the moment is answering my Mum’s question: ‘What do the children want for Christmas?’ (Not that Matthew and Rebecca are now really children.) Margaret and I have not got a clue……and this has set me thinking about what Christmas is about. It is not about presents – although they are VERY nice to receive. Christmas is not about a special meal – but again this is a great joy to share with friends and family. It’s certainly not about watching the television – although as a child one of our compulsory activities on Christmas Day was to watch with one of my Aunts and Uncles, Billy Smarts Christmas Circus – I could not see the point, all I really wanted to do was to go and eat chocolate and read a book or play with a new game, but all this had to be put on hold to watch the Queen’s speech and then the Circus.
Christmas is about the coming to earth of our Saviour, about our God taking human form and living here amongst us, so that He knows exactly what we feel, how we work, rest and play, and He came ultimately to die for us on the cross so that we might have life everlasting with Him in eternity.
How many people really understand that message?
When we were in Manchester, Christmas ended before 25th December, by that I mean that if you went shopping then all the Christmas decorations, music and atmosphere were packed away the week before the event. The shops were all stocking their spring ranges and one year one shop had already started and finished their Christmas Sale before Christmas day.
The old tradition is that you should not start celebrating Christmas until 25th December and then continue on until the Feast of Candlemas on 2nd February, where one tradition has it that this is that day that the Christmas tree is taken out of the church, stripped, cut up and then made into a Cross to help us to start to focus on the coming Easter story. But I think that society would start to ridicule the church if we stuck to that tradition.
We as a church community need to reflect society today, to be relevant to today’s needs, but also to be a witness to the truth – the truth that Christ came to the earth for us, that we need to open our hearts to hear His message afresh to us in each and every age, and that we need to spread that message as far as we possibly can.
May Margaret, Matthew, Rebecca and I wish you all a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas, and also a Peaceful and Blessed New Year.