5th December 2018

Dear Friends

It was good to see the church so full on Sunday morning as we welcomed Bishop Michael Colclough to baptise and admit members of Children’s Church to first communion. To continue the day our Advent Carol service was a wonderfully thoughtful meditation of music, carols and readings. On Sunday our children reminded us of the time and date of their nativity play. Please try to attend church on Sunday 16 December at 10.30am. The children are working hard rehearsing, what as always will be an amazing production. Other important dates for your diary are:

Wednesday 12 December – Carol singing along Chiswick Mall. We meet at the parish hall at 7.30pm
Sunday 16 December – Pop up Christmas fair in church after mass.
Sunday 23 December 6pm  – Our traditional carol service of 9 lessons and carols.

We still need your help for the following:
Monday 24th December Christmas Eve
4pm Crib Service  – two volunteers to act as narrators to lead the service (usually older                                                    children)
one volunteer to read the fourth reading

11.30pm Midnight Mass – two readers and one person to lead the intercessions (note this service follows directly after Carols & Readings before Midnight Mass at 11pm)

Tuesday 25th December Christmas Day
10.30 Christmas Day Mass – two readers

Please email office@stnicholaschiswick.org if you can help.

Thank you to everybody who turned up on Saturday morning to clean the church and churchyard, these periodic cleaning sessions really do keep the church looking in tip top condition.

It was good to see our restored weather vane re-established on a very wet Monday afternoon, do look up, with its new gold leaf it shines quite magnificently. You can see pictures of the restoration here on the Chiswick Calendar website.

Simon


Dear Friends

There is alleged to be a Chinese curse which says ‘may you live in interesting times’. I don’t think we can place responsibility for our current domestic situation on that country, but there is certainly much anxiety about possible developments over the coming days and weeks. To quote an extract from a speech made by Joseph Chamberlain in 1898 while he was Secretary of State for the Colonies:
‘I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times… I never remember myself a time in which our history was so full, in which day by day brought us new objects of interest, and, let me say also, new objects for anxiety’.

This seems to describe our current situation well. During the course of his parliamentary career Joseph Chamberlain had the dubious distinction of managing to split both major parties!

So how should we as a Church respond today? Certainly by prayer. I came across the prayer below, written by the Bishop of Bristol, which I think is an excellent start.

A PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION IN THE APPROACH TO AND AFTER THE BREXIT VOTE

Eternal God,in whose kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, and no strength known but the strength of love, we pray that your reconciling spirit may come among the peoples of the United Kingdom as decisions are made about our relationship with the European Union.
We pray for politicians charged with weighty decisions and for those who advise them.
Despite our differences, deliver us from the hardness of heart that keeps us locked in confrontation.
Grant us the wisdom to know the way to establish your kingdom and seek for the continued transformation of our lives, that we may make peace with our enemies and build communities of justice, love and peace.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

With every blessing

Mother Eileen