My Dear Friends,
The end of one year and the beginning of another is traditionally the time to take stock of the inner life. “ Hurry up,” says an old proverb.
it is later than you think.” "Time, Gentlemen!"says the angel of death to someone every day. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.”
When I was in school our Latin master would give us little word pictures, by means of which we could grasp the meaning behind some familiar Latin tags “ Carpe diem” was one of them, and it means “seize the day.” But the picture we were given was that of a master of olden days grabbing a slave by the sleeve and forcing him into his service, making him carry out his purposes, and then driving him back into the slaves’ quarters.
As we step out into the New Year, let us be The Masters, not the Slaves of Time. Let us grab each day as it comes, and use it in the best way we know, living fully in each day as it comes, and making sure that we are living, and not merely earning a living. Some people stress the earning so much, that they never really live. When they’ve earned what they consider is enough, they are too tired; or too ill, to live.
The past still haunts a number of people. But how foolish it is for us to let it cast its shadow over the future. We are to gather the fruits or the lessons or the goodness of the past, and burn or forget all the bad incidents. Our past has taught us all something—good or bad. Even if we must take certain consequences due to past mistakes, do let us remember that our relationships with God can always be restored. God will never pick up a past sin, which He has once forgiven, and hurl it in our faces again. Our sins are "behind His back" says the Bible. Let them stay there. Don’t rnorbidly dig up the stinking things in your, or anyone else’s past, and still wear them. Make sure that you have drawn a line at the end of 1955, and started again. Seize the day! Let’s make each day a new beginning and make sure that we do not make today the yesterday we shall regret tomorrow.
My wife, and Dewi and Gareth join me in sending our warmest New Year Greetings to each one of you. May the blessing of God rest upon you and yours all through the coming year.
Your Vicar and Friend,
A NEW YEAR PRAYER
Once more I stand with a New Year ahead.
An unknown road spread out before my view.
Grant, Lord, the path on which I have to tread.
Be not too difficult, though strange and new.
Grant I may travel to its journey’s end.
Without too many falls, and give I pray.
Courage to face whatever Fate may send,
And walk Thou with me, lest I lose my way.
Despite one or two setbacks our Bazaar was an unqualified success. So very often it is little things that annoy one. Despite endless appeals in Church and in the magazine for volunteers, and for stuff to put on the stalls, some people must be asked in person by the vicar, as if he was a professional beggar. When these people are asked why they were not there, they reply
" Oh, I wasn’t asked "---as if anyone was. An excellent number of faithful members turn up without being asked, why doesn’t everyone?
Then I specially asked the printer last month, to put the advert for
the Bazaar, as the very first item—before the Vicar’s letter.
But you know where it appeared —the very last paragraph of all!
But enough of grouses. As I said it went off very well indeed, and we made a profit of £66/3/3. The individual items were :—Cake Stall £9/3/0; Sunday School Teachers £5/6/6; Miss Johns £5/7/6; Young Wives £10/11/1; Mrs. Johnson £3/2/0; Miss Pearce £26/10/0; Tombola £3/7/6; Basket of Groceries £2/10/0; Refreshments £2/3/4; Lucky Cards £1/11/9 At door £3/2/9; Donations £3/16/0.
The Bazaar was declared open by Mr. N. J of Newnham, who was introduced by the vicar, and Miss E. Hill presented him with a buttonhole.
One raffle, the bed jacket, was won by J. W. Knowles of Yorkley Wood, and the Basket of Groceries by T. M. Thomas, of Lydney.
I do want to thank most heartily everyone who gave, or did, anything to make it such a success.
On December 12th we a Whist Drive and although the weather was,unkind we had 10 tables, and it was obvious that everyone enjoyed himself.
We took £2/4/0 at the door, made £1/1/0 on a raffle, and £ 1/1/7 on refreshments making a total of £4/6/7.
The people who gave prizes want to remain anonymous but we are most grateful to them, and to Mrs, Fitzpatrick, our capable M.C.
We have now decided starting in February, to hold a Whist Drive on the first Monday every month. We do hope that people will turn up to these and spend a nice social evening with us.
After the magazine for December went to the printers we held a Jumble Sale, which realized a profit of £18/6/6. We also thank these tireless ladies who organized this for our Church funds.
ADVICE ON CHURCH MATTERS —important.
If ever you have any doubt or enquiry about Church affairs such as marriages, banns, burials, cremations, baptisms, church membership, communion attendance (whether you can or cannot attend). Churchings, fees for anything, divorce etc., etc.. will you please see the vicar about them. He will tell you about them, and if he doesn’t know the answers he will know how to find them from competent authorities such as the Bishop, or Archdeacon.
This is important, because I find over and over again, people being
given wrong advice by laity who think that they know everything about
the Church and Church government. These people do great harm and hurt,
by giving wrong impressions about the Church, its clergy and its various
So please, if you have a problem about the Church, see the vicar, and not someone “who ought to know.” Often they do not know, but rather than admit their lack of knowledge, they guess, and often mislead people. The vicar is always ready and happy to help you.
THE THEME IS INOCULATION
The people who had come for a baptismal service were grouped before the font, and presently there came the time for the officiating minister to ask the child’s name, “Smith Peterson,” at once replied the father. “ Hyphenated ?“ asked the the minister. “ Yes, sir,” answered the parent, “The doctor did it last Tuesday.”
It was another word that the flustered father thought he had heard
before he thus replied, the word heard with some frequency in a Watch
Committee during a small-pox scare in a small northern town. The chairman
inquired whether all the members of the police force had been vaccinated,
and when the Chief Constable replied that he did not think so, the chairman
at once proposed that that they should all be immunised without delay.
" But what’s the good of that?" at once came from one of the committee members, “They’re safe enough as it is. They never catch anything!” Then even the Chief Constable laughed.
When this magazine comes out, the Pantomime season will be in full swing; and the two ugly sisters—with pretty Cinderella will be amusing us. Even amid the comedy of the clowns, and the rough and tumble of the harlequinade, it will be easy to see in the pantomime, a parable.
Why are the two sisters, ugly in face, in deport merit, and in behaviour? Is it because they are ugly within? Jealousy is from within, and that is face spoiling. If you knew how forbidding you look when that wretched feeling is in you, you would try to get it out of your system.
Envy, or a grudge, or an evil wish towards any human being, disfigures the face and sends people away from you, Whereas goodwill, and a hope for anyone’s success or happiness makes your face to shine, and draws others to you.
So the parable is this —the ugly sisters are ugly because nothing has come in to their lives to sweeten and ennoble their nature—only selfishness. And selfishness is always uglifying.
As for Cinderella she is in the parable too. Cinderella among the cinders, the sorrows and he sadnesses, the rags and the tatters—she is never ugly. She is just winsome.
Even little children can detect that the adverse circumstances of Cinderella—pretty of face though she be, has something to do with her sweet and unselfish nature.
Cinderella is the old fairy story, It may not be a Christian story—-was not intended to be. Some have made of it a Pantomime; others see in it a parable—a parable that brings to mind a saying of Paul the Apostle, to the Gulatians, "The marks of the flesh are manifest, which are these... hatred, wrath, variance, ernulation strife... envying, ... But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."
Nov. 26—Derrick Clarence Hancocks of Rising Sun, Bream and Jennifer Margot Tye, of Maypole Stores, Bream.
Nov. 21—Douglas Thomas, Bream’s Eaves, aged 32 years.
Nov. 26—John William Vaughan, 2 Church Cottages, aged 67 years
Dec. 7— Riley Wildin, 13, Hillside Estate, aged 56 years.
Dec. 10—Matilda Maud Mary Johns, Mill Hill, aged 59 years.
Dec. 13—Liney Ford, of Milkwall aged 66 years.
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