Tel: Whitecroft 376
My dear Friends,
A Very Happy New Year to you all, although by the time you read these words, 1963 may already be at least two weeks old. This is because I was not able to get these notes written before the Christmas holidays and festivities. Perhaps this is as well because we are now able to look back upon our acts of Worship at that time, and to do so whilst they are still fresh in our minds.
At least, fresh in the minds of some of us, for not all of us were able to share in the Christmas Services. I know that some were away from home, and that some were prevented by illness from getting out; but there were others also who are so often regular in their habits of worship, week by week, who were not to be seen at any of the services.
A DEFINITE DATE.
It is, after all, this, and nothing can take its place. Just as shops and offices don't close on a date near to Christmas, according to the whim of the owner or manager, no more should members of God’s Church feel that attendance at church on a Sunday near to Christmas, is any substitute for not going on 25th. Further, Christmas Day, is unlike the other two great week-day church festivals - namely Good. Friday and Ascension Day - in that it is looked upon generally as a public holiday, when all who possibly can, take it as such. It is only a very small proportion who have to work. Christmas Day, therefore, gives us an extra opportunity of joining in the worship of God’s house. So many, however, and I include good church people amongst them, ignore completely, this part of the holiday, and inevitably, by so doing, must weaken their spiritual lives.
MORE THAN LAST YEAR:
If there is a note of admonition in these remarks, let me add one of encouragement. The three Christmas Day services were well attended, and those of us at the Family Service were well encouraged by the number who were present; a larger number than on many Sunday mornings. It was particularly good to see a number of children, with their parents.
Communicants too, were higher, and with those who received the Sacrament in their homes, amounted to 75.
M. U. CAROLLERS:
I would like also to thank four members of the Mothers Union, who a few days before Christmas, turned out on a rather chilly night to sing carols. Although few in number, their efforts were very well rewarded, and I understand that the Chapel Furnishing Fund benifitted by £3.12.0d. We thank you ladies, for this gallant effort, and those also who so generously supported them.
RICHER AND WARMER:
One thing by which we shall connect 1962 and our Church, is the new carpet, I think we are generally agreed that both by its colour and material, the church has been made to look both richer and warmer. As the cost of this, of course, goes back to our Gift Day last July, many of you feel that you have a personal share in it. I hope that those who did contribute last July have, by this time seen the carpet, although don't ask me which part you paid for!
I know that a number of you are disappointed that we were not able to replace all the old coconut matting; but I believe that this will be done in time as funds permit, or when another appeal is made. In actual fact, some of the flooring needs replacing before we ought to think of covering it with any new carpetting. This may well be an early expense that we shall have to consider
However, we must not think entirely of our own needs, pleasant though that thought must be. We may be Christian men and women living in Bream but as such, we also remember that we are members of the much larger Church of God. We know that God is not confined only to Bream, but that He exists, through members of His Church, everywhere.
This is what the Church must ever aim to be, and. to do so, it knows that it has to depend on others as it does on itself. It has to depend on itself first, but not to the exclusion of others. It has to be certain what it believes, for only in this way can it discover how to teach others.
As we approach another year, let it be that our spiritual plans for it will be to this end; that we can only teach others what we believe God has done for us. We can see Him active and alive in so much that we do: we want to encourage Him to be equally as active in others. We know that he can be, because the other person is not so unlike ourselves. Their situations may be different, but basically there’s not much to choose between any of us. It is therefore perhaps a bit of a shock to learn, as some of us did recently, that church people of this country had failed during 1962 in their support of church people of other countries, by as much as £30,000. A small sum no doubt, when considered in terms of daily national expenditure, but a very large sum when thought of in terms of being able to pay for the wages of people from this country to be sent to some other part of God's world, to work among God's people.
Our contributions, to the work of God’s Church overseas, through our link with Church Missionary Society, may be a small drop in the bucket of £30,000, but by a recent decision of the Parochial Church Council, and with the help of some of you, we were able to send a larger contribution to them in l962, than the previous year. In this way we are certainly reminding ourselves that God’s Church exists in other countries also.
Indeed, as I look each week at the offertories, most of it in silver, that are brought up to the altar at each of our regular services, I am amazed at the generosity of so many people. The big, silver coins, are almost as plentiful as those of less value. And I continually thank God that this is so, that he has made it possible for you to be so generous, for I realise that you are concerned with your own church. Yet I believe also that from this beginning, you are being made aware also of the largeness of God’s Church.
I hope we shall continue to go on in 1963 as we have so well started in 1962. However, I shall have more to say on these matters at our annual Church Meeting in the Spring.
Once again, God bless you all, May you feel his encouragement in your work for Him and His Church in 1963 and beyond.
Your sincere friend and Vicar,
FROM THE PARISH REGISTERS
46------------------- 1st December-------£5.5.9d
9-------------------- 8th December------ £4.4.5d
24 ----------------- 15th December-------£5.14.10d
14------------------ 22nd December------£4.19.2d
79------------------ 29th December------£15.14.2d
December 2nd, Paul Alwyn Morse
December 15th. Paul Percival Butt & Carole Irene Davis.
December 5th: Frances Emma Macey, aged 80 years.
December 19th: Tom Baker, aged 59.
Offertories at Weddings and Baptisms, to Organ Fund, £2. 9.11d
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