St Stephen's Newsletter

By Editor, Jan 29 2020 03:09PM

It seems almost impossible that we are already into the second week of the New Year and that everything except our Nativity set has been packed away. But Christmas was lovely while it lasted.

First things first, we held our Advent Party, and following this our thanks go to Ruth for leading our Nativity. Frances, as always answered our pleas, so Finn was a glorious Joseph, running away with the donkey, while Emma was a sweet Mary. Although ‘under the weather’, Phoebe and Lottie were both excellent narrators. Our thanks to them all.

On the day, Ruth also introduced St. Stephen’s beautiful new Nativity figurines, gifted by Pat. I believe they are carved from olive wood. Fittingly, they began the year’s Posada journey following the Nativity.

In the evening Janet hosted our very pleasant and successful Carols and Readings Evening, when it was a pleasure to welcome both old and new friends both from St. Martin’s and the Village. As usual, Janet and Pat had ensured that the mulled wine and nibbles were delicious and plentiful.

Once again we thank you for the pleasure of your company, always remembering to thank Mary, for her musical efforts on all of these occasions. We thank Judith too, not just at Christmas time but for being our pro Warden throughout the year.

Next appeared Fred’s wonderful Christmas contribution of the annual tree in all its glory, so much gorgeous opulence, balanced by the equally beautiful, but almost stark in its simplicity, display of Marlene’s flower arrangement. I love St. Stephen’s with all its contrasts that somehow add up to a satisfying ‘whole’.

Meanwhile, Ruth braved the Christingle celebrations with yet more gorgeousness in the form of Linda’s Christingle oranges. Everyone seems to have survived that experience intact and there were definitely more animals available for the crib scene this year.

So the scene was set for John to preside over our 11 o’ clock service, the most beautiful one of the year for that precise moment when the clock ticks over into the new birth and the new day.

As always, our Christmas celebrations ended with St. Stephen’s Patronal Service. It seems such a fitting way to bring the season’s celebratory services to an end and also, as always, to share that service with our friends from St. Martin’s – and for good measure, they bring lots of extra male voices for Good King Wenceslas!

Well, a slight feeling of deflation lingers here. I’m so glad that we can all still enjoy our Nativity scenes until Candlemas, and I like that celebration too. I must admit that I like the time to enjoy our scene once all the ‘noise’ of Christmas has passed and when all the tiny figurines are eventually packed away, in my hard to reach cupboard for another year, that is when Christmas really ends for me.

But now, here at St. Stephen’s, as everywhere, a feeling of optimism for what comes next begins to creep in. May we begin this New Year and end the last by thanking all those who have joined us at St. Stephen’s and shared our life in any way throughout the last year.

We wish each and every one of you, and all of those whom you love, a joyous, peaceful and healthy New Year.

On behalf of everyone at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead

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