I know it seems ages away but thinking about Christmas has just moved up a notch in the Parish Office. Forgive me for stating what many might consider to be the blindingly obvious, but things will be different this year. Government advice is fluid, so our plans need to be flexible. Social distancing means that we will not be able to accommodate anywhere near the numbers of people we would normally expect, so our services will be limited and tickets will be on offer.
One way round these difficulties is to hold activities outside. As we cannot hold our normal Children’s Church nativity we are going to hold an outdoor nativity for all ages on Sunday 13 December at 5pm. We will begin in the forecourt of Fullers brewery and make our way via Chiswick Lane South and the Mall to the South porch of the church. We are going to call it ‘The Old Chiswick Nativity’, participation is for young and old and we need volunteers, especially in helping us light the churchyard by the South porch, costume production and general stewardship of the event. If you want to be involved please email me. One of the ways round our difficulties with limited space in church is to live stream all our Christmas services. Obviously the clergy cannot do this because we will be otherwise occupied so we need volunteers to do this, please, please, if you have any experience of using cameras/ filming we need your help, we want to get our message out. It might seem like ‘all hands to the pump’ this year and really it is. It would be wonderful if we could reach as many people as possible, but we can only achieve this if we get enough people to help.
Last Sunday was the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, after whom the current Pope Francis took his name. St Francis wrote a religious song called the ‘Canticle of the Sun’, originally in an Umbrian dialect of Italian but subsequently translated into many languages. In this canticle Francis praises God for all the wonders of creation. I quote one of the verses below, which seems very appropriate for this coming Harvest Sunday when we are reflecting particularly on our environment:
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
As half term approaches those of you with school age children might be thinking of how to entertain them during this time. You might do well to consider a trip to St Paul’s Cathedral, where there is lots to see behind the scenes. Details can be found on this website: www.stpauls.co.uk and kids can go free between 17-31st October provided you book in advance.
With every blessing