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News from St Marys’ – Tetbury Advertiser December 2021

Tetbury Advertiser:  DECEMBER 2021 EDITION

These scenes create a Christmas “Journey to Bethlem”.

Aren’t they beautiful?  Each scene tells part of the Christmas story:  the angel with Mary, announcing Jesus’ birth; Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem; and the shepherds in the fields, hearing the angel’s news of great joy.

For the first time last year, in the days leading up to Christmas, these scenes led families through St Marys’ Churchyard, and then on into the church, where the stable nativity scene was candle-lit under the altar.  I will always remember the children dragging parents and grandparents forward, and pointing out Joseph and Mary, and the Baby Jesus.

This year, families are again invited to experience this “Journey to Bethlehem”.  Come any time 4.00-5.30pm on Thursday 23rd December and then on Christmas Eve, Friday 24th December.  You will arrive to carol-singers in the churchyard then, following the path into church, you share in the Christmas story.   All are welcome.

“Journey to Bethlehem” again replaces our traditional Christmas Eve Crib Service, as we are not yet able to accommodate everyone safely in church.

And there’s plenty more to share before then!  On Saturday 4th December we have St Marys’ Church Christmas Fayre, 10.00am-12.30pm in the Market Hall, including delicious home-made preserves and cakes and beautiful hand-crafted gifts.  Then, at 5.00pm that day, we have the St Saviour’s Christmas Tree Festival Carol Service, led by Tetbury Area Churches Together.  Surrounded by trees decorated and lit up by Tetbury groups and organisations, it is a joyful service … followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

On Sunday 5th December, at 4.00pm. there is a special invitation to children to Celebrate Christingle with us:  make your own Christingle, share in prayers and stories, then enjoy singing around the fire.  The event is run by the iSingPop Celebrate team, and we look forward to seeing you there.

At 6.00pm on Sunday 19th December, in St Marys’ Church, there is the candle-lit Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, with Midnight Mass at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning celebrations at 10.00am.

Finally, look out this Advent, because Mary, Joseph and the Donkey are coming to stay in Tetbury.  Originating in Mexico, this is the tradition of the “Posada”.  Small versions of Mary and Joseph (in our case, knitted) travel around being welcomed into different households in the community, and staying there for one night.  Then they are welcomed back into church Christmas Day, with the new-born Christ.

I look forward to sharing this with everyone!

With love and prayers this Advent and Christmas, Poppy

The Revd Poppy Hughes
Parish Priest, St Mary The Virgin & St Mary Magdalen


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