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December Issue.

In this issue:
Alrewas News
Methodist Church News
Fradley News
Wychnor News
Contacts
From the Vicar:                     An Unusually Special Christmas!
 

Dear Parish Magazine Readers,
 
     I’m sure you will all agree, it’s been an incredibly difficult, challenging , frustrating, worrying and stressful year for everyone in our country and throughout the world, as Covid-19 has affected and dominated virtually all aspects of our daily lives and work.
 
As we’ve endured two national lockdowns, and even when those have been lifted we’ve continued to face a variety of restrictions which have placed considerable limitations on meeting and coming into close contact with family and friends, travelling, shopping, running a business, attending school or university and much, much more –we’re painfully aware of the high levels of hardship and loss which have affected most of us at some point. With so many special occasions and celebrations this year being postponed, or cancelled altogether, I sense that everyone is longing for a sign of hope and light in the midst of a very long and dark tunnel we’re still travelling through……..
 
…..which brings us to Christmas 2020!  With all that we’ve been experiencing and enduring, this year – perhaps more than any other in most people’s living memory – we need to be reminded, and to believe as well, that Christmas is not cancelled (though our ways of celebrating it will have to be modified this year for everyone’s safety and well-being). Even the devastating effects of Covid-19 cannot diminish the hope and light that God has graciously given our world by coming into our very existence as a truly human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, being born as one of us, Immanuel (‘God with us’), so that no matter how dark, how difficult life gets, we have the assurance that the God who loves us beyond measure is with us, knows and understands our hopes, fears and needs….He is the ultimate source of the light that dwells in the midst of our darkness and gives us faith, hope, strength and resolve to journey onward together!

This year, more than ever, we need and long for a Christmas which will lift our spirits in the midst of a pandemic, and help us experience the comfort and joy which comes from re-discovering and welcoming the living Christ at the centre of our celebrations!  Across our benefice of three churches, there will be a variety of opportunities to do this -  some ‘in-person’ (always taking into account the health and safety of all who wish to attend), and some ‘on-line’ (to give wider inclusivity for worship services which typically attract large numbers, and those who will be staying inside their homes this month).  
 
In this edition, and further weekly updates, we hope you will find worship services and special events which will help you and your loved ones to celebrate an unusual yet very special Christmas – with our love, prayers and best wishes  for a safe, joyous holiday and a healthy, hopeful New Year!
 
                                                           Your Vicar and friend,  John Allan                                                               

Opportunities to Worship Online

         this Advent and Christmas
with the National Church of England
          and other organisations…..

 


To enjoy an on-line Carol Service…..
 
The Big Christmas Carol Service (RSCM), Saturday 12 December at 6.00pm (GMT):
https://www.rscm.org.uk/online-resources/the-big-christmas-carol-service/
 
…other Carol Services are available too! 10 virtual Christmas carol concerts you can sing along to this year….get into the festive spirit with these beautiful and uplifting livestreams:
https://www.countryliving.com/uk/news/a34615142/virtual-christmas-carol-concerts/
 
For a wide variety of Advent and Christmas services from the national Church of England, including a National Christingle Service on 13 December 2020, see
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online


For beautiful Advent and Christmas worship services from our very own Lichfield Cathedral, see
https://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/advent-christmas/special-services
 
        
Please click on the link below to hear this weeks video message as we introduce our reader Helen Mullins!
 
                      https://vimeo.com/486478679              

      

Alrewas News
.

Services In December
       at All Saints 



Sunday 6th December
    
8am Holy Communion BCP
 10am - Said Communion Service

Wednesday 9th December - 10am Holy Communion

Sunday 13th December
       
8am Holy Communion BCP
 10am Said Communion  Service
 

Wednesday 16th December- 10am Holy Communion

Sunday 20th December
       
8am Holy Communion BCP
10am  Said Communion Service 

Wednesday 23rd December - 10am Holy Communion

Christmas Eve - Thursday 24th December
In the interest of public safety this year, and to include many more people than we could accommodate in church due to Covid-19 restrictions on numbers attending, we’ve decided to offer on-line provision only
for the following special favourite services:

 
‘Waiting for Jesus’ (4:00pm, either live-stream or pre-recorded, TBC) see below poster for more details

Late Night Christmas Celebration Service
(Pre-recorded, viewing time TBC – further details in upcoming Parish Magazine editions)

Christmas Day - Friday 25th December
These services will be held in the Parish Church for people to attend in person
(no livestreaming or pre-recorded services on 25 Dec.)

8:00 AM Traditional BCP  - Christmas Communion (Said)
Ideal for those who prefer traditional liturgy, an early service, or are travelling
on Christmas morning.
 
10:00 AM Festive Christmas Communion
Come celebrate the joy of Jesus’ birth as we gather
for this service, including music and Christmas surprises!

 Please check out the poster above for details of opportunities to worship online with links from the Church of England and other organisations

Sunday 27th December
       
8am Holy Communion BCP
10.30am Said Communion Service

Wednesday 30th December - 10am Holy Communion


Please follow the guidance of the wardens upon your arrival, and please note that a face mask must be worn unless you have an exemption. All necessary precautions have been taken for your safety.


Alrewas Parish Council
The Parish Council have updated their website to a more phone friendly version. It contains lots of information about the Parish Council as well as what’s going on in Alrewas, including the Village News and the Village Directory where you can get links to all the village organisations and businesses as well as add your own.

Click on the link below to go to the website

https://www.alrewasparishcouncil.org.uk/


                        

For those of you who have been following Connor's journey as he continues with another year of volunteering with Youth for Christ in Norwich, here is the link to his latest blog:

https://connorburns.home.blog/2020/11/28/into-lockdown/

 

Alrewas Surgery News


For the latest news from the surgery please click on the following link

https://www.alrewassurgery.co.uk/news/
 
Minister: Revd Joanna Thornton 01543 253744
61 Burton Road, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LR  email:
revjo@hotmail.co.uk  
Steward: Mrs Pam Handscomb 01543 257594
Bookings: Mr John Henley 01283 752016
Services for Alrewas Methodist Church in November

6 Dec – 10.30 am Service led by Ann Seaton

13 Dec –  10.30 am Service led by Revd Joanna Thornton

20 Dec –  10.30 am Service led by Patrick Hughes

25 Dec –  No Service

27 Dec – 10.30 am Service led by Kevin Barry

Deadline for the January issue

If you would like anything included in the next issue then please email nikkiburns152@hotmail.com or ring 01283 791941 by 25th December.
If you would like to subscribe and have this Parish News delivered straight to your inbox then please click on link below and enter your details.

https://church.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=51840f72959d6ab36a4f447dc&id=27f8de6679
 

Fradley News

The Mighty Yew                                  

 
The yew trees found in our churchyards are really very special, so special that ecologists describe them as ‘globally important’! No other country has such a richness of ancient and veteran yews and many churchwardens find themselves the guardians of these natural giants. When the leaves fall from deciduous trees, we tend to notice the evergreens more and yews, whether two or two thousand years old are synonymous with churchyards.
 
We can speculate as to why yews are found in churchyards; a relic from an older pagan site, a symbol of eternal life and death, some winter colour to decorate the church at Christmas? Whatever the reasons churchyards have acted as sanctuaries for yews which have been felled across the wider landscape from Medieval times onwards. Demand for longbows, removing poisonous trees from farmland and more recently, extraction of anti-cancer drugs from bark and foliage have all taken their toll on the yew. 
 
If you are looking after yew trees in your churchyard then follow some simple rules. Remove encroaching ivy and keep the ground beneath the yew clear of heavy items such as parked cars, bins, sheds or compost piles. Avoid pruning if possible and let branches reach down to the ground where they will take root. In this way we will nurture this national treasure – our oldest trees.
 
All the best,
Andrea
Andrea Gilpin
andrea@cfga.org.uk
www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk 


Just a note in case some of you are wondering what’s happening in the churchyard. Saturday 21st November, volunteers rotavated a five foot wide strip along the front of the Wild/ Nature Area in preparation for a wild flower meadow next spring ( special thanks to Simon Roberts) This is part of a nation wide project called ‘Caring for God’s Acre’. We hope it will encourage more people to see the churchyard as a place to come and ‘sit awhile’ and take some time for quiet reflection and thought.
St Stephen’s in Fradley    Bulletin   7th December 2020      
                                                                             
Firstly- a warm welcome!
  • Find us on ‘ACNY’:  www.achurchnearyou.comFradleySt.Stephen
  • Face book: www.facebook.com/ststephensfradley
  • Subscribe to ‘Parish News’ - our e-Bulletin.  Please click on link below and enter your details.
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Public worship in the church building now resumes although we are in Tier 3 restrictions
St Stephen’s Church is open 10am-3pm every day for private prayer

Please call in, stay awhile remembering the hygiene rules and keeping social distancing whilst there!
 
St Stephen’s now has the official NHS COVID19 App for Track & Trace.
Please log in when in the building if you have the app downloaded on your phone
 
 As we move swiftly into December, the month with the shortest days and the longest nights, and snow forecast we can only hope that we might get some of those cold, sharp days and blue skies before the calendar year ends. For the Church, it is New Year! Advent which began last week heralds the start of the church’s year, and four weeks of reflection and preparation for the birth of Jesus. This week our theme is ‘watching ‘and ‘waiting’.
 
I think that this year, the season holds perhaps a greater significance as we wait for Covid 19 restrictions to lift, to be able to travel to see loved ones, to sing in church again and to move around freely.
 
 For many, if not most, of us, that wait will continue into next year, and yet as we move on through Advent  we hear again the promise that God comes to us in our waiting and waits with us. We wait with anticipation and hope – that is so important, not just for the season but for the circumstances
we find ourselves in. 
                                                         A blessing for Advent
 
May you see the light that shines in the darkness,
that the darkness cannot overcome.
In this time of uncertainty, confusion, pain and waiting,
may you experience the hope that comes from knowing that
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen.
                                                         The Arthur Rank Centre

                                                                                        Elizabeth
 
 
 
 Dates for your Diary and other information
                         
Today………
We are back in Church for public worship!

9am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.30am All Age Worship with the Music Group                    
We will all be socially distanced and follow the government guidelines on keeping safe in this pandemic.
Please note: There will be no online worship this week. We resume our online services from Sunday 13th December
 
Readings: Isaiah 40. 1-11   2 Peter 3. 8-15a    Mark 1. 1-8
 
The Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Advent
Almighty God,
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.
 
Tomorrow………………..
Monday 7th December  12noon       Advent Reflection by Zoom (Please email Elizabeth on ayton265@gmail.com if you would like to join in this quiet, reflective service as we begin Advent)
 
Advent Reflections
Mondays 7th December, 14th December 12 noon

On the 1st three Mondays in Advent there will be a short (30minute) service to include reading, prayers and some music and will be held by Zoom. (Our first Zoom Reflection was held last Monday)
There will be an online link to access the service and an accompanying Service Booklet
 
Sundays 13th and 20th December               
10.30am Family Communion in Church
Online Service live at 10.30am



     “We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that we have follow Government COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. We have successfully applied for the ‘Good to Go’ Industry standard and this has been granted.


Parish Christmas Card
We aim to send Christmas Greetings to every house in Fradley through a Christmas Card. The lovely cover picture is designed by Sophie Morgan (age 8), one of our younger members of the congregation. Packs are ready in counted bundles to distribute to the houses in all the roads in Fradley and Fradley South. If you can deliver a bundle we would be very grateful.
 
Food Bank
Thank you to all who continue to support the Food Bank. There is even greater demand for assistance in the current crisis. The food bank says it is well stocked with beans, pasta and milk,
but is still looking for other tinned and packet food donations
 
Christmas Food Bag Appeal 2020
 
Please help local people in crisis by donating items from this list for Christmas food bags
Large tins of potatoes                    Tins of Salmon  Tins of garden peas       Tins of Carrots
Large tins of Ham                            Small tins of Ham            Stuffing                Gravy Granules
Cartons / Tins of Custard              Tins of Fruit                        Christmas Cake (slab or novelty)
Mince Pies                                         Large box of Biscuits      Small Shortbread biscuits
Individual Christmas Puddings  Apple & Orange Juice    Crisps / Snacks / Nuts
Adult Chocolates                             Novelty Chocolates (Gold coins etc)
All Christmas bag donations are needed at the warehouse by Friday 11th December
Donations can now be left in Church.
 
Update of our journey to Bethlehem
        Travelling to Bethlehem 3,173 miles
 
Our collective miles so far amount to 2,652

WELL DONE EVERYONE!
The charity we have chosen to support for this challenge is the ‘Christmas Day Together’ scheme, as well as St. Stephen’s Church. Due to Covid 19, ‘Christmas Day Together’ are unable to continue sharing hospitality to those who will be on their own on Christmas Day this year, so they are planning to distribute a hamper to each of the 80 people they usually cook for. We would like to help them with a donation towards the Christmas Food. St Stephen’s PCC has pledged £250 towards the scheme and all those walking have donated or received sponsorship. If possible, we would love to be able to give more but this will obviously depend on our final figure.
We are not due to complete our walk until Christmas Eve, but if you would like to make a donation to this, we do need to let the organisers have the donation in plenty of time, so that they can start making up the hampers.
If you do feel you would like to offer a donation, however small, I have agreed to collect the money, which can be paid to me by Banker’s order, cheque, or cash pushed through the letterbox. It will then be passed to the correct channels.
Or you can use our ‘Just Giving’ page – link below
 
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/journeytobethlehem?experiments=b2c_041_fundraising_page_donation_prompts_2%2Cb2c_036_donate_button_colour%2Cb2c_038_secure_donate_buttons&successType=StickyDonateButtonClick

Thank you so much to those who feel they are able to support.
                                             Love Carole Griffiths 
                                       01543258907  Mob 07813620622
 
 
And finally……                                                    
Christmas is not cancelled! 

                      Look out for the notices next week announcing
                         all that is planned for
                             seasonal services and Christmas events!

 
 EAW 5/12/2020
Ancient Graffiti
 
          

 ‘With the COVID Secure cleaning routine in St Stephen’s I’ve noticed this graffiti in the pews. Does anyone recognise any of the images or have any idea when they were done. If you have noticed any please let me know. Would love to find the stories behind these images. Jenny Watts

   

 
On Boxing Day this Christmas give a thought to St. Stephen’s church, as Boxing Day is the Saints day of St. Stephen. In Victorian times when the church was built, Boxing Day was when gifts were exchanged, so it had more significance to them. St. Stephen is one of the more unusual names for churches and he is one of the lesser known saints but he was the first Christian martyr and was one of the first seven deacons of the Christian church.

Part of his duties as deacon was to ensure charity was distributed fairly among Christ’s followers but his real strength and fame was as a preacher who converted many Jews to become Christians. He was also critical of the priests and practices in the Jewish temples especially animal sacrifices and indulgences, paying for sins to be absolved. St Stephen became so influential that the priests feared him and wanted to destroy him, so they accused him of blasphemy, one of the most serious crimes at that time and punishable by death.

At his trial, Stephen challenged the priests  and practices of the Jewish faith so forcefully that the crowd became so angry that they took him out and stoned him to death. He was buried by one of the gates into Jerusalem. He is known as the saint of stonemasons, bricklayers, deacons, headaches, horses and coffin makers. He is often shown with stones to reflect his brutal death.

So this Christmas give a thought to St Stephen on Boxing Day.

Wychnor News
Services at St Leonard's during December

We are very sorry to announce that there will be no evening Carol Service this year at St Leonard’s. 
We will be holding at Communion Service on 13th December at 11.30 am. 
Also there will be no Christmas Day Service but all will be very welcome at All Saints Church Alrewas. 
We are determined that next year we will all be together again in our little church.
GDPR and the Parish News

Please be reassured that the Parish News will never share your details with any third party and if you want to update or remove your name and email address you can do so by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.
Please check out our church website to see details of our data privacy notice.
 
Church Contacts

Vicar:                        Revd Preb John W Allan.  Email: revdjohnallan@revdjohnallan.plus.com
                                 The Vicarage, Church Road, Alrewas, Burton on Trent DE13 7BT        01283 790486
 

Associate Minister:   Revd Elizabeth Wall          Email: ayton265@gmail.com
                                 Gaia Cottage. 15 Gaia Lane, Lichfield. WS13 7LW                                01543 254891

Curate                       Rev'd Ashley Hines   Email: revdashleyhines@gmail.com                   
 07733 595893

Reader                      Mrs Carole Ellis
                                  49 Heritage Court, Lichfield                                                                    01543 254448

Reader                      Dorothy Giles       Email: dot_giles@hotmail.co.uk                                01283 487831

Wardens:                  Mr Ian Kirkland, 29 Micklehome Drive    ianrjk@icloud.com                  01283 790622 
                         Mr John Feathers,                                                                                  01283 791842
Assistant Warden:    Mr Edward Gould                                                                                    07896 929113
PCC Secretary:       Ms Laura Jacks,                                                                                      07904 774589
PCC Treasurer:       Mr Nick Kilford,  Email:  treasurer@alrewasallsaints.church
                   07912 359237
Organists:                 Mr David Hall and Mr Chris Greenhalgh
Captain of Ringers:  Mr David Hall                                                                                          01283 792464
Church Flowers:       Mrs Maureen Johnson,                                                                                        
Pastoral Care:          Mrs Julie Willis,                                                                                       01283 791719
Children's society:    Mr and Mrs Peter & Lynn Lerigo,                                                            01283 791544
St Stephen's, Fradley
 
Warden:                  Vacancy
PCC Secretary:      Mrs Jenny Summers 12 Bailye Close, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LD   01543 263359
PCC Treasurer:      Mr Nick Kilford                                                                                          07912 359237
Altar Flowers:         Mrs Elaine Lloyd, 34 Long Lane                                                               01283 790655

 
St Leonard's, Wychnor
 
Warden:                  Mrs Frances Mayes, Blackenhall Lodge,
                               The Green, Barton under needwood                                                        01283 713058
PCC Secretary:      Mrs Jackie Coates, Keeper's House, Wychnor                                        01543 473173
PCC Treasurer:     Mrs Karen Mercer, Hill Farm, Wychnor                                                     01283 791515

 
Parish News

Editors:                   Mrs Nikki Burns                                               email: nikkiburns152@hotmail.com

 
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All Saints Church · Church Road · Alrewas · Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE13 7BT · United Kingdom

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