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News from St Marys’

Tetbury Advertiser – DECEMBER 2022 EDITION

Holy means “set apart”.
This is something so special it makes you tingle with expectation. This is something utterly different from the ordinary and the every day. What a great way to describe Christmas!

For me, one of the most “holy” moments is the start of Midnight Mass: the church is bathed in candlelight, the organ strikes up and we stand to sing “Once in Royal David’s City.” You can feel your heart rise with hope and joy. A truly a holy night.

And St Marys’ extends a warm welcome to everyone to prepare for Christmas as we journey through Advent. The hope is that each of us will have a chance to get ready to receive the gift of God’s son, born into our world to dwell among us: the gift of perfect love, come down to us at Christmastime. So, this is woven through everything that’s happening at St Marys’ Church through December.

It will be a joy to be part of the “Switch On” on Friday 2nd – look out for our stall, with gifts and information about what’s happening. And this is followed by carols at the “Christmas Tree Service” at St Saviours at 5pm on Saturday 3rd December.

And that’s just the start. Through December, we have lots on for families, with a warm welcome to children to get involved. Every week, in the 10am Sunday Service, Little Fishes Sunday School will have special Advent activities.

Then special events include “Celebrate Christingle” at 4pm on Sunday 4th December, when you can come and make your own Christingle and enjoy some singing around the fire. And on Christmas Eve, the Crib Service is back at 4pm! The little ones are invited to dress up as sheep, shepherds and angels, kings and stars … even donkeys to help bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Lots of children are involved in telling the Christmas story, and every child is invited up to the front to be part of the nativity scene. As you can imagine, excitement runs high and it is a magical time.

And there’s lots for adults too. On Sunday 27th November at 6pm we have a special Advent Carol Service – followed by the beautiful candle-lit “Nine Lessons and Carols” on Sunday 18th December at 6pm, with mulled wine and mince pies afterwards.

Then, in the stillness of Christmas night, we gather for Midnight Mass at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve: a chance to remember the birth of Jesus into our world, and discover – or rediscover – the season’s message of joy, peace and hope.

The celebrations continue with a family service at 10am on Christmas morning. And on Sunday 1st January, there is a 10.30am service followed by New Year Drinks at the Vicarage. All are welcome.

I look forward to sharing this with everyone. But, before I finish, I must give a shout out for our Church Christmas Fair, 10am-12.30pm in the Market Hall on Saturday 3rd December. There will be many delights – from homemade cakes to gifts, craft stalls and games. We hope to see you there.

Wishing you a wonderful Advent and a very Happy Christmas.
With love and prayers, Poppy

Canon Poppy Hughes
Parish Priest, St Mary the Virgin & St Mary Magdalen Church, Tetbury
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