The homilies project was developed so that a congregation can engage in study and discussion of the lectionary when a Priest or Reader are not available to lead the service. The files include the gospel reading, details of the other readings for the week, the homily itself which can be read out loud, discussion points and the collect for the week. They are written by a variety of people, including our bishops and archdeacons, and they are intended to be used by lay leaders who are not authorised to preach.
The Walesby Group is now fortunate to be able to call upon the resources of four clergy licensed to their churches, supported by a wide team of lay and retired ministers. In addition to her role as Vicar for the Market Rasen Group, Revd Claire Burnett is Priest in Charge for the parishes of Brookenby, Claxby, Croxby, Kirmond le Mire, Normanby le Wold, North Willingham, Stainton le Vale, Thoresway and Walesby. Revd Bryan Dixon, Rector for the Middle Rasen Group, is Priest in Charge for the parish of Tealby and the Barkwith Group of parishes.
(For specific parish enquiries, please see the contact details on the website A Church Near You)
Sunday 3rd December: 6pm - Deanery Advent Evensong at Tealby
Tuesday 5th December: 3pm - 1st Tuesday Reflective Service of Holy Communion
(in the Iona Tradition) at Claxby Village Hall
Saturday 9th December: 7pm - Annual Carol Service at Walesby 'Old Church' (Ramblers Church)
Monday 11th December: 2:30pm - Quiet Christmas at St Mary's Walesby
There are many other Christmas Celebrations and Carol services within our groups
Please see the 'Events' tab for full details
There are a wide range of theological opinions within the church, this article reflects the views of the author
'Christmas is coming . . .'
So, Advent Sunday again, Christmas rushing towards us, and I find myself wondering just where the last year has gone.
It seems that as I get older time speeds past ever quicker, but also that odd random memories start to flash up from years ago. The rhyme “Christmas is coming” was part of my childhood, and back then one was able to recognize that a penny, even a pre-decimal one, while not a huge sum, was of value, especially to a child. After all, a penny (1d) would buy 4 Black Jack sweets, whereas the current penny won’t even purchase one of the current equivalent.
In those somewhat distant days begging was rather looked down on, though there was the charm of “penny for the guy”, “Bob-a-job week”, or carol singers at the door, all of which were decidedly approved of. Modern safeguarding rules have all but put an end to those forms of collection, with the modern, and apparently acceptable, equivalent being the flood of letters from charities of all shapes and descriptions that pour through my letterbox, or arrive daily in the spam box on my email. Many are worthy causes, but the genre is also tainted by a noticeable percentage that are criminal scams; a wise person takes a hard look at any of them before committing money, and “giving fatigue” is an accepted phenomenon.
A pity really, because it is very clear in the Bible that Jesus wanted his followers to be generous and kind to those in need. Witness the parable of the Good Samaritan perhaps, or his story of the sheep and the goats at the judgement – “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:35-36) All equally valid today.
So, as we start to open the Advent Calendar, perhaps one with a chocolate behind every door, as we stock up on the goodies we’re planning to eat, as we purchase the presents that Santa will deliver on Christmas morning, could we perhaps also put a little aside for those who are in real and desperate need. Money is always good of course, especially for charities supporting people overseas, but a small donation to a local food bank is equally welcome. Could you perhaps buy an extra tin of minced beef, or beans, or some soap (or many other basic items of food and hygiene products), each week through Advent, and donate those to a food bank. Not much in an era when a pint of beer costs around £4, and a coffee somewhere about the same, but then it doesn’t have to be a lot to make Christmas for someone desperately short of money and struggling to make ends meet, for as the old rhyme goes on;
“if you haven’t got a penny, a halfpenny will do,
if you haven’t got a halfpenny a farthing will do,
if you haven’t got a farthing then may God bless you.”
A Prayer for this Week
O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.