News from St Marys’
Tetbury Advertiser: November 2022
Goodbyes are as much a part of life as the seasons of the year.
Those words are particularly poignant as November arrives. This is the time when the Church turns to remembering particularly those who have died: the goodbyes we have said to our loved ones, and to those who have served their country and their God.
Remembering means – literally – to put something together, to “re-member”: integrating our past into our present. That means recalling all the good things and the difficult things about people, relationships, places and experiences which are now past. It means celebrating the “good stuff”, and the way this has allowed us to become the people we are today. And it means facing things which have hurt and distressed us, and understanding how we can come to terms with those experiences.
All of this feels so right for autumn. The season reminds us that life is fragile, and precious. At the end of October, on Sunday the 30th October, we will have held the All Souls Evensong. In this quiet, reflective service we named all those for whom we have held a funeral over the past three years, and lighting candles in memory of each life we are recalling.
Then of course we have Remembrance Sunday itself – and this year we are back in St Marys’ Church with the traditional 2.30pm service, for the first time since 2019. We then parade from the church to St Saviours for the laying of wreaths, followed by tea served in the Church.
This is a wonderful community occasion, coming together to involve everyone, young and old. The church is packed, with all the children and young people so beautifully turned out in their uniforms, to present their colours, and the join in the march through town with the brass band. It is all the more moving because we share the service as Churches Together in the Tetbury Area, with ministers and readers drawn from all our churches.
Other things coming up in November:
All the family are invited to iSingPOP CELEBRATE, meeting in St Mary’s school hall at 4pm on Sunday the 6th November. Our theme is light, and Jesus as the Light of the World, with something for all the family: crafts, a Bible story, time for prayers and songs, and tea for everyone.
Then – before we know it – we are moving into Advent. We begin with a special 10am service for “Stir-up Sunday” on the 27th November at 10am. Traditionally it is the day when families mix up their Christmas pudding – and in the church our focus is asking God to “stir up” our hearts and wills, to do his work of love in the world. During the service, the children will be invited to help us stir up our own traditional Christmas pudding – and then have a taste after the service with tea, coffee and juice. Later that day, at 6pm, there is then an Advent Carol Service at 6pm, again encouraging us take time through this season to prepare for Christmas, reflecting on what it means for us for Jesus Christ to born into the world – Emmanuel, God with us.
With love and prayers. Poppy
Canon Poppy Hughes
Parish Priest, St Mary the Virgin & St Mary Magdalen Church, Tetbury
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