St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - December 2022 to January 2023

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett

As recent global and local events have taught us the world is an unpredictable place.

This newsletter is designed to guide you and tide you over all the way till February 1stby which time all manner of things could have happened!

The good news is that the ‘good news’ of Christmas remains and is a daily reminder of the incarnation of the divine in the form of a newborn baby and endures forever as Christ in the world.

At this time of year, as Christians we journey to Bethlehem and beyond reading both the Hebrew bible and the gospel accounts and contemplating something very familiar that will never alter – the incarnation.
During Advent, Christmas and Epiphany we are invited to anticipate , celebrate and reflect upon ‘Immanuel’ which is both the coming of Jesus and the remaining of Christ as ‘God with Us’.

The amazing truth we are invited to embrace is that God is with us in all that we encounter both the good and the bad.

I sincerely hope that the next few weeks bring you many moments of joy but I also know that this, the darkest time of the year, can be a very difficult one to navigate.

Memories of loved ones, empty seats at the table, unreasonable expectations, old wounds resurfacing in ourselves or in our relationship with family and friends.

Let’s face it, joy can feel precarious and life itself can feel precarious. So, as you journey towards Bethlehem and beyond, remember that God knows about precarity……after all no sooner was the joy of the incarnation recognised by angels, shepherds and wisemen, then it was interrupted when the Holy family were forced to escape to Egypt as refugees from Herod’s murderous intentions. As once again the time comes when we are invited to welcome the Christ child into our hearts, so too we are called continue the work of Christ. This work is indeed about sheltering the needy, feeding the poor, healing the sick but it is also about withdrawing a little to nourish our souls, to recognise as we approach Bethlehem that we have our own spiritual needs and find ways to be contemplative, ways to wonder and to rejoice that whatever happens this Christmastide, God is with us.

Our schedule of services is there to provide for you the time and space to step back from the secular ‘magic’ and step into the true mystery of Christmas – we hope to see you often over the coming weeks so that we can truly journey together.

On behalf of myself, the Churchwardens and PCC may I wish you a Joy filled Christmas and a Happy New Year.