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A Newsletter on Friday 16 December from our Team Rector, Reverend Peter Reiss:
It has been one of those weeks!
It has been very cold this week; and I know many are worried about putting the heating on for too long. That is not how it should be at Christmas and certainly not for older people who need warmth.
It has been very beautiful this week – with the snow lying crisp and white across the fields, and creating “winter blossom” in the trees. There is a beauty to winter like no other season.
It has been disruptive this week and with threat of more – as our nation is riven by strike action and disputes, trains, post, health staff, border guards, and more. Some of us remember the chaos, the division, even mass violence from the strikes in the 70s and 80s. We are fortunate if we have not had to travel.
It has been a week where England (again) have gone out (too) early from a football competition. The debates and discussions about how sport should or should not be involved with politics sadly have gone quiet – the millions of non-Qatari nationals who have built the venues and infra-structure hidden now, as focus is on the star footballers. Realpolitik maybe says we have to be fairly nice to the people who sell us our gas, especially if we are wanting to exclude Russia from our markets. John the Baptist would have had something to say!!
It has been a week in which temperatures have dropped far lower in Ukraine than here, and where ordinary Ukrainians face winter cold with far less than we have.
It has been a week in which the schools have held Carol Services, and done Christmas things, where children have been able to enjoy Christmas together – good things to celebrate.
It has been one of those weeks! And it is a world where there is enough for all, if we would all but share; not enough for all to have everything that the most acquisitive have, but for all to have enough and more. Christmas should be a time when all can celebrate and rejoice.
Below you will see a request for help – **help for local families in Breightmet who face a Christmas without warmth and or food, and children who will be without presents. Can we help?
300 days ago Russia invaded Ukraine; our communities have welcomed a number of Ukrainian families – did they think they would be here 300 days later? Thank you to all who have helped practically, who have given financially, who have befriended. These families still need our support – they need our friendship – their own country is not safe to return to; its future remains very uncertain; Russia continues to destroy civilian infrastructure.
We can love / help our neighbour, both those who live nearby, and those who have found a temporary home here.
This week may we find beauty, receive blessing, offer help, signal hope for others, make a difference, know God’s presence with us – it is one of those weeks! And in just over a week we will celebrate the most extraordinary event of all time, an event which required the massed choirs of angels, and a stellar signalling, all because a baby was born to a young woman, and placed in a manger; God came and shared our human life with all the issues and joys we have outlined above. Do join us for our Christmas Services.
**Request for help from St James’ Breightmet: Urgent request for
Toys for Christmas presents for children
Food, for families without the money to buy food
Money – so the church can get what is most needed
There are increasing requests to support needy and desperate families who for various reasons simply do not have enough to make ends meet.
You can leave food bags or presents in the parcel box at St. Anne’s vicarage – (final collection will be midday Wednesday).
Alternatively, you can leave any toy or food contributions with Rev Hannah Lane – or contact her via e-mail or text on 07480 065268 for collection before Wednesday. Thank you.
Or you can make a financial gift direct to St James – details below
St James PCC Sort Code 16-00-06 Account Number 16724800
(Please mark any contribution for ‘Breightmet Chance Project’)