Christmas Day Service
We are delighted to announce that there will be a Christmas Day service in Leckhampstead at 9:30am. Join us to celebrate this special day and meet up with fellow villagers on Christmas Day!
Our Christmas Appeal this year will be supporting Loose Ends and the West Berkshire Food Bank. Loose Ends is a drop-centre in Newbury serving food to the homeless and vulnerable. Run by volunteers, they prepare and serve healthy, hot meals in a safe and friendly atmosphere. The West Berkshire Foodbank works hard to make sure that nobody in our community goes hungry. They provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. Part of a nationwide network of foodbanks and supported by The Trussell Trust, they work to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
If you would like to make a donation of food or toiletries for these good causes, please leave items in the marked box at the back of the church.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM MIRI
“Hark, the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King …
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. ”
The calendar is counting down, and we’re all hoping for a ‘proper’ Christmas this year especially the laughter and shared meals; family, friends and neighbours all celebrating together. But many of us are holding back a little, either to avoid disappointment, or because we fear that none of our future Christmases can be quite like they used to be. In the past couple of years we have experienced something beyond imagination, a worldwide pandemic, and we have all been changed by our experiences of lockdown and the virus. There have been highpoints for many of us: time with family, or to complete that DIY project that’s been on the go for a decade! But there has been uncertainty, anxiety, ill health and loss for so many.
I was reflecting on all this, and trying to understand how the story of the first Christmas could help us to find joy despite the broken dreams, and broken bodies, of the pandemic, when I remembered this picture.
It’s my dad holding our daughter, his first grandchild. Dad suffered a terrible brain haemorrhage in his early fifties and lost much of himself to the damage it caused to his ability to think clearly and to do fiddly things, both requirements of his job, so that he lost his livelihood too. And yet in this picture, holding this special-to-him baby has restored something within him. He is so proud of her, and of himself.
I think that’s what this Christmas can be about for all of us. God sent the most special baby, Jesus, to heal us from fear and isolation. He comes to lie in our arms to bring us peace. He doesn’t ask anything of us other than an open heart to receive the love he brings. We’re not left out of the first Christmas story because of our brokenness, the Babe of Bethlehem restores us and offers us hope.
RIP Tom Warburton 7th November 1920 – 23rd December 1999
Revd Miriam Keen