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Dear friends,

Have you seen the Currys PC World ad, ‘The magic of Christmas upgraded’? A  Dickensian street scene, straight out of A Christmas Carol, is ‘upgraded’ with the addition of modern technology – headphones, drones, a massive flatscreen television. These gadgets, we’re asked to believe, are what it’s all about this year. These are the gifts to give, or better yet, receive – this is how to upgrade Christmas!  

In the soundtrack, a choir sings 'Good King Wenceslas'. As the ad is short, they only just make it to the end of the first verse, and the lyrics are almost drowned out by a snoring woman and a buzzing drone. But you can still just hear the start of the story told in the song: ‘When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel…’

There’s no poor man in sight in the ad, of course, but in our real high streets and real world it is hard to remain completely blind to the existence of poverty. Anyone spending time in larger towns and cities will have seen the signs that begging and rough sleeping are increasing. Universal Credit has begun to be rolled out in Sheffield, just before Christmas leading to increased demands on food banks. There is real hardship around us, even in a rich country like ours. For those worried about getting a decent meal at all this Christmas, an upgraded experience will be far from their minds.

In the carol, Wenceslas and his servant respond to their encounter with the man by going to fetch him food, drink and fuel. They don’t do it for show – it’s dark and no one is around. And they don’t do it because it’s easy for them; the ‘bitter weather’ and ‘rude wind’ make it a costly endeavour. But they do it all the same, giving generously, doing their duty with everything they have. The servant even reaches the point of collapse as a result of the effort but is saved by being invited to walk in the warmth of ‘his master’s steps’. The song finally ends, in a not very advertising-friendly fashion, with a moral message: ‘Ye who now will bless the poor / shall yourselves find blessing’.

This then, is Christmas upgraded, kingdom-style. Not to chase after wealth and rank, status and show, or the latest must-haves; but to recognise our duty to follow in the footsteps of our master, giving to others generously, simply and sincerely, even when it costs us dearly.

 May your Christmas be full of gladness and generosity.

Peace

Tim

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Image result for black and white line drawings of advent wreathsChristmas is coming

Our Advent Wreath will look a little different this year.  Instead of four red candles surrounding the white Christ candle we shall have candles of four colours and this is because we are basing our brief Advent Liturgy on the Holy Habits of Gladness and Generosity.                                                                                

In Week 1 we shall be thinking of God’generosity towards us and in Week 2 our generosity towards others. Week 3 reflects gladness as well as generosity and in Week 4 we celebrate Mary’s gladness and ours.                                                                                                          

Look out each week for the display at the front of the church, which will echo in colour the Reading and Prayer. No prizes for guessing the colour of our final week when Mary’s gladness is our focus!

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Image result for black and white drawings of carol singers Neighbourhood

Christmas Carol Singing 

Please come and join us singing Christmas carols around the neighbourhood on Sunday 23rd December. We will leave church at 7pm, sing at various "stops" around the neighbourhood for about an hour, then retire to Rachel Tomlinson's home for warm drinks and mince pies. Please can you let either Ann Barker or Rachel Tomlinson know if you are interested in joining the singing - the more the merrier! Also if you know of anyone who would appreciate a visit from carol singers, please let us know.

Rachel 

Services during December

 

Sunday 2nd

 

 

10.45am

 

 

Rev. Graham Wassell

Holy Communion

 

 

6 30pm

 

 

Mr John Wilkins

 

Sunday 9th

 

 

10.45am

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Gift Service, Cafe Worship

 

 

6 30pm

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Communion

 

Sunday 16th

 

10.45am

 

Mr Lawrie Ginn

 

 

 

6.30pm

 

Rev. Henry Ohakah

 

 

Sunday 23rd

 

10.45am

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Carol Service

 

 

6.30pm

 

No Service

 

 

Sunday 30th

 

 

10.45am

 

Mrs Sylvia Runciman

 

 

 

6 30pm

 

 

No Service

 

Services during January

 

Sunday 6th

 

 

10.45am

 

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Communion

 

 

6 30pm

 

 

Rev. Sally Coleman

 

Sunday 13th

 

 

10.45am

 

Mr David Green

 

 

6 30pm

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Communion

 

Sunday 20th

 

10.45am

 

Rev. Tim Crome

Holy Habits & Cafe Worship

 

 

6.30pm

 

Mr David Green

 

 

Sunday 27th

 

10.45am

 

Mr David Harris

 

 

 

6.30pm

 

Rev. Gareth Jones

 

On Christmas Day each year, as they have done since 1864, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club hold a race for the Peter Pan Cup.

John Barrie (1860-1937), author of Peter Pan, often walked in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park and spotted the swimmers in the Serpentine. He sponsored the 1913 Christmas Dat race and donated the cup.

 

Angel right

Christmas Services

Friday December 21st; is an opportunity to mark The Longest Night. Further details to follow from Rev Tim Crome.

Sunday December 23rd; 10.45am, Carol Service. There will not be an evening service but come and join us to sing Christmas carols leaving Church at 7pm and singing at various stops in the neighbourhood. After about an hour, we will retire to Rachel Tomlinson’s home for warm drinks and mince pies. 

Monday December 24th; 5.30pm,Christingle Service led by Mr Brian Speed

Tuesday December 25th; 10am Christmas Morning Family Service led by Rev Tim Crome

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Church Family News

—Ë—

We ask God to bless all our Christmas plans, in our own families, our Church services and arrangements, and in areas of mission with which many of us are involved.

We are pleased to know that Helen Watson is now settling nicely at The Glen, if you are reading this Helen, know that your friends at Banner Cross miss you and think of you fondly.

We think of all friends who we don't see very often and pray especially for them this Christmas season. We include Brenda Martin here too. We miss your lovely smile every Sunday.

We pray for the Rowe family, particularly Joan, following the death of her husband Alan on Tuesday 13th November. Alan was Shirley's brother and Jonathan's Dad. Thank you for all your support, prayers and good wishes for us. We'll be celebrating his life on Thursday 6th December at 1.15 pm at Hutcliffe Wood, followed by refreshments back at Church. You're welcome to join us.

We pray for Duncan and Jane Storey. Duncan recently had a collapse and a visit to hospital.

We continue to pray for Hazel's sister Joy. Prayers have already been answered in that happily, Joy has no malignancy - but she has lost a lot of weight and needs nourishment to ''build her up''.

We also remember in our prayers Hilda Muntz - who had a fall in November. (is this how to spell Hilda's surname?)

We think of Sue Bemrose and family, whose brother is very ill.

Chris

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Hands icons: thin lines signs vector set. Applause, fist bump, high five.Lunch Club News

International Day of Older Persons Awards

Banner Cross Luncheon Club has just been notified that it has been awarded an ‘International Day of Older Persons Awards' for serving 'scrumptious meals and rendering exemplary culinary services, given 8th of October 2018. We have been sent the certificate to prove it!

The challenge now it to get it framed and decide where to hang it - it could be a prime job for a sub-committee!

Ian

Congratulations to the many dedicated volunteers involved

________________

Christmas Is A Good Feeling

Christmas is a good feeling
You feel so blessed this day
You know for sure the things that will come
As happiness is on the way,
Christmas spirit stays in heart,
Its that time of the year,
Its that wonderful start,
Of the Christmas light in life!

Services, Events and Meetings at Banner Cross in December, January and February

—Ë—

Saturday December 1st; 1pm–3pm, Charity Christmas Fair. Proceeds are going to the Sheffield Macular Group.

Monday December 3rd; 7.30pm, Communications Group Meeting in Room 5. All welcome. 

Sunday December 9th; Gift Service (café worship style) and Baptism, led by Rev Tim Crome. Our gifts of money will go to the Manor & Castle Development Trust Ltd.

Wednesday December 12th; Ladies Christmas Meal at the Toby Carvery, Dronfield.

Thursday December 13th; 7.30pm, Holy Habits Planning Group Meeting in Room 5. All welcome. 

Friday December 21st; an opportunity to mark The Longest Night. Further details to follow from Rev Tim Crome.

Sunday December 23rd; 10.45am, Carol Service.  There will not be an evening Service but come and join us to sing Christmas Carols, leaving Church at 7pm and singing at various stops in the neighbourhood.  After about an hour, we will retire to Rachel Tomlinson’s home for warm drinks and mince pies. 

Monday December 24th; 5.30pm, Christingle Service, led by Mr Brian Speed

Tuesday December 25th;10am, Christmas Morning Family Service, led by Rev Tim Crome

Saturday December 29th; 3pm, Room 1, Afternoon Tea and Entertainment with special guests. Further details to follow from the Holy Habits Planning Group.

Monday January 7th; 7.30pm, Worship Group Meeting.  All welcome.

Sunday January 20th; 10.45am, Café Worship led by Rev Tim Crome celebrating our fundraising efforts for South Yorkshire Refugee Law & Justice; followed at 12.15pm by an informal discussion of the novel, “The Gift” by Cecelia Ahern. Further details from Alison Russell

Wednesday January 23rd; Property Committee meeting

Sunday February 3rd 10.45am, Launch of the Holy Habit, Breaking Bread during a service of Holy Communion, led by Rev Tim Crome.

Sunday February 24th; 10.45am, Café Worship Local Arrangement service based on the habit Breaking Bread.

Information correct as at 19November 2018

________________

Worship Group

Report

—Ë—

The Worship Group is open to everyone. It meets four times a year. Participants input suggestions for services and preachers at Banner Cross for the following quarter’s Circuit Preaching Plan.  The group also reflects on services which took place during the previous quarter and comments on what went well, and what might be improved in future. The group discusses “special” services such as those during Lent, Holy Week, Harvest, Advent and Christmas.

Sometimes the group explores a topic related to worship, such as liturgical furniture.  Currently the main topic is Holy Habits.  The group discusses how best to facilitate and plan this Programme and evaluates its activities.  We have just completed the first “habit”, Prayer, when we hosted a Prayer Gathering, led by our Minister, Reverend Tim Crome; and held a “Food and Film Evening” when the moving film, “The Way” was shown.

The sustainability of Evening Services is currently under consideration and so the number of worshippers attending each evening service is being counted until the end of the year.

Highlights from the past year relating to our Worship Life:

·        discussions on the most recent Church Review, led by Tim,which involved the whole congregation during Café Worship services from December to June;

·        study courses for Lent and Advent on Saturday mornings;

·        Local Arrangement services led by our own Worship Leader and Local Preachers.  Two sub-groups met and planned a service on “Temptation” at the start of Lent; and a service in summer on “Partnerships” based on material from Action for Children;

·        outreach to the community when the church again offered refreshments and facilities to runners and supporters at the Sheffield Half-Marathon;

·        Baptism Services and welcoming young children to our church;

·        The Singing Group is going from strength to strength under the leadership of Ann Barker. This group has sung, not only during morning services in Church, but also at a charity Fundraiser, and most recently in two Nursing Homes performing to residents, many of whom have dementia;

·        the formation of the Holy Habits Planning Group (open to everyone) which will plan events and activities for the 9 remaining Holy Habits led by our Champion, Paula Jones, and liaising with Millhouses and Carterknowle churches. A display board has been placed in Worship Room 1 on which Janet pins material related to the activities we are undertaking during the Holy Habits Programme. This sub-group intends to show films and set up a Book Club using suggestions from the writers of the Holy Habits booklets.

We look forward to: a Celebration Service on 20 January 2019 to mark the end of fundraising for South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice.

________________

Holy Habits Book Club

—Ë—

The Holy Habits resource booklets recommend books, fiction and non-fiction, for each ‘habit’ and suggest people might want to discuss some of them as a Book Club.  From the list in the “Gladness and Generosity” booklet, I have chosen the novel, The Gift, by Cecelia Ahern (HarperCollins publishers 2008). I suggest that those of you who would like to read and discuss it, meet on Sunday, January 20th after the Morning Service of Celebration.  Bring your drink into the Quiet area of Worship Room 1 at about 12.15 pm. The discussion will last about 45 minutes and will be very informal.

The Gift is described as a thought-provoking story of a man who comes to learn the importance of being generous with the gift of time.  The synopsis on the back cover says: “Lou Suffern wishes he could be in two places at once. His constant battle with the clock drives his wife and family crazy. Gabe is the homeless man who sits outside Lou’s office. When Lou invites Gabe into the building and into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure … An enchanting story that speaks to all of us about the value of time and what is truly important in life.”

If you are interested in discussing this novel, please contact me. It is up to you to get hold of a copy of the book and read it before we meet. Maybe 2 or 3 people could share a paperback copy?  Or you could read an electronic version on an E-reader. 

This story is set at Christmas, so why not read the novel over the Christmas period, and join us on 20January for a short discussion about this book?  I will come to the discussion with a list of other books, fiction and non-fiction, suggested by the authors of the Holy Habits resource booklets. 

Alison

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Random Acts of Kindness

—Ë—

The Holy Habits resource booklet for Gladness and Generosity encourages us to try to do a small act of kindness for someone else every day or once a week. There are many ways to show kindness; it just takes a little thought and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Many people who do a random act of kindness keep it anonymous and often it is for a stranger, but it could be for a family member or good friend; a fellow worshipper; a colleague; a neighbour; or an acquaintance.

The booklet relates the account of the Love Stourbridge initiative in the West Midlands where people started doing generous things for others to demonstrate God’s unconditional love.  Here are a few examples:

 

·        cleared overgrown gardens and removed rubbish

·        hosted an afternoon tea with live music and food

·        baked cakes for the local uniformed services (police, fire and ambulance)

·        ran a fun-day with live music, face-painting, craft activities, a prayer tent, and fairly traded goods.

The above are ‘big’ acts carried out by a large number of people involving a great deal of planning.  However, random acts of kindness can also be unpremeditated and carried out by individuals. 

There are lots of ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness website: www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

I have picked – at random! - from this site the following suggestions:

·        serve at a homeless shelter

·        do 5k for a good cause

·        let someone go in front of you in a queue

·        rake up the leaves around someone’s house

·        give up your seat on the bus

·        lend someone your favourite book or film

·        give your umbrella to a stranger

·        help abandoned or sick animals find good homes

·        reconnect with an old friend

·        visit a neighbour who doesn’t get out much

·        write someone a letter of encouragement

·        and last, but not least, be kind to yourself.

More ideas have been suggested already, orally and in print within our own church.  Indeed, you will realise that some of the above random acts of kindness have already been performed.  Ours is, thankfully, a church where members carry out random acts of kindness all the time and always with plenty of CLC – that is – Christian Love and Care. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew ch 5, v 16 NIV)

Lastly, I was the delighted recipient of a random act of kindness recently. I was searching through the books on the book shelve sat my husband’s care home, hoping to spot the novel, ‘The Gift’ by Cecelia Ahern which some of us will be reading as a Holy Habits Book Club and then discussing on Sunday 20 January.  One of the nurses, a lovely Romanian lady called Andréea, asked what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for a specific book which I had not been able to find in any shop, adding that I do not order online.  A few days later, she presented me with a paperback copy of ‘The Gift’ and said that it was a Christmas present for me and she did not want any money for it. I was very touched and pleased by her kindness and generosity, which prompted me to write this piece.

Alison

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music 3Music Bugs

Music Bugs play-based baby, toddler and pre-school music classes

Music Bugs is all about having fun and exploring music together in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We provide gently structured, play-based sessions where children can develop, grow and have fun in a multi-sensory environment. Our 40-minute classes have a mixture of lively and calm activities to share and enjoy with your child, with a huge variety of props including puppets, parachutes, pom poms, bubble machines, floaty scarves, teddies, hobby horses and lots of tactile percussion instruments. We sing nursery rhymes, counting songs, finger-play rhymes, knee bouncers and action songs.

We hold classes on Wednesday in the Banner Cross Church Hall 10-10:40am for Family Bugs (mixed ages 0-5 years) and 11-11:40am for Baby Bugs (0-crawling). Book a taster for £5.25 or 3 for £12, or book for the whole half term. The full class schedule and booking information can be found here: https://www.musicbugs.co.uk/sheffield/classes/ For further information please contact Claire on sheffield@musicbugs.co.uk or 07525627835.

Claire Eaden
Music Bugs Sheffield

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Christmas puddings originate from an old Celtic dish know as ‘frumenty’.

In the 19th century, the Christmas cake was eaten on Christmas Eve. It was considered unlucky to cut a Christmas cake before dawn on Christmas Eve.

In some places it is even considered unlucky to cut a mince pie with a knife.

2018 christmas flier for BCMC (2)

Alison, Ann and Chris, Jackie and Roger, and Sylvia would be happy to sell tickets to you.

Sheffield Church Action on Poverty Pilgrimage 2018

Visiting the Wybourn area and The Manor estate

—Ë—

After an opening service at Stafford Road Methodist Church, starting with the words “One step at a time we journey onwards with God –this is pilgrimage”, we heard about the Real Junk Food project. It uses out of date [but safe] food in the café-diners pay what they can afford, an electric van collects the food, and they also run workshops in schools to help pupils learn about food and cooking.

Then we walked up to Skye Edge, admiring the view over the city, and David Price spoke abouttwo groups which met up here, the 19th century Chartist rebels, so they could run if the militia were approaching, and the gambling gangs in the 1920s.

St Oswald’s church offered refreshments as Debbie Mathews, Chief Executive of Manor Castle Development Trust, told us about the situation in the Manor Castle area, which had been originally developed to provide homes for steel workers and their families. The area was very badly hit by the collapse of much of the steel industry in the 1980s, and for a time, it was the most deprived area in Sheffield, However considerable efforts were put into improvements and it became the third most deprived area, which was progress of a kind. But now it has reverted to a high level of deprivation, not only because of the number of people dependent upon benefits but also because those in work often have low paid or part time jobs and are reliant on tax credits to make ends meet. There is anxiety about the potential impact of Universal Credit system as 5,000 people in the Ward will be dependent upon it. Another major change in recent years is that the proportion of ethnic minorities in the area has risen from 2% to 27%.

The City suffers from a shortage of social housing and there are 22,000 on the Council waiting list. As a result, when housing became available in the Manor Castle area, it often went to people who had priority due to complex needs. This meant that an increasing proportion of the social housing in the area was occupied by people with serious mental health issues and high levels of debt. Those reporting suicidal thoughts have increased 100% in ten years. At the same time, the austerity cuts in services are biting and it is impossible to provide these people with the support that they need.

Manor Fields were still full of wildflowers in bloom as we went up to St Swithun’s Church. The local community, Council and churches set up the Food Poverty Network in 2012/13, as the foodbanks in the surrounding area reported that they were supplying people from the St Swithun’s area.

The numbers using it have doubled each year –in 2017 they gave away 55 tons of food, as 48 hour emergency packs or four weekly packs, feeding 6,600 people who have to be referred to the project.  The Network is supported by 110 people who pay standing orders each month, and 20% of the food is donated and 80% purchased [the opposite ratio occurs in most other foodbanks.]

A Citizen’s Advice Bureau worker visits on Wednesdays, establishing each person’s needs and whether the help with food should continue for another 4 weeks.  Often those who come have 2, 3 or even 4 jobs, but still do not have enough money to buy food.  People are encouraged to use the Credit Union budget account where rent and utilities are paid, and the remaining money is put on weekly or monthly cash/debit cards.  As an extension to the emergency food, Food Clubs have now been set up where members pay £2.50 per week and receive £20-30 worth of food, and skills to help them move towards self -sufficiency.

We walked through the general cemetery, after pausing to pray for those in funeral poverty.  The average price of funerals has increased to around £4,000, but the government grant covers only about 35% of this, and struggling with the financial pressure of a funeral often gets in the way of people’s ability to grieve.

MP Paul Blomfield talked to us as we ate our sandwiches at St Aidan’s church. When he spoke to our pilgrimage seven years ago, he had just become an MP. He considered that people are now, on the whole, worse off, in both food and fuel poverty, but there is also  greater fragility in the type of work, such as zero hours contracts, where people are called into work the following day, and then told there might be something later in the afternoon. The issue of child obesity has also to be addressed, as dependency on corner shops or “take-away” food has led to families of 4 million children in the country not being able to afford to eat healthily.

For the second time on our journey Sure Start, a nationwide family

support network, now drastically depleted, was mentioned as the best way to help the whole family before their struggle became overwhelming

Universal Credit, which is due to be introduced in Sheffield in November, has been a cause for concern for a long time. Deliberate delays in payment and a reduction in income have been built into the system, and in areas where new applicants have to register for Universal Credit there has been a 52% increase in the use of foodbanks. The Police are planning their strategy too, as the payment of a large sum of money each month may lead to vulnerable people being exploited.

Paul’s parting words were for those who are concerned to “make a noise” to put pressure on MPs and the government to make changes.

Sara Millard, Sheffield Church Action on Poverty.

________________

Image result for Black and white line drawings of wildlife gardensBanner Cross Wildlife Garden

Update

As Winter draws ever closer wildlife activity in the garden declines. However there is often something to see. There were still some aphids on the Tansy in the wildlife garden in November.

There has been a lot of activity over the year. Fox droppings were found on the path by the allotment. Woodpigeons and Magpies were seen on the front lawn.

Although there has been a sharp decline in the number of bees in recent years our green space has attracted a variety of wasps, bees and ants. These include the following;- Apis mellifera (Honey Bee), Bombus hypnorum (Tree Bumblebee), Bombus lapidarius (Large Red-tailed Bumblebee), Bombus pascuorum (Common Carder Bee), and Bombus terrestris (Buff-tailed Bumblebee). Lasius niger (Small Black Ant) can be seen especially on the willow tree.

Beetles include Coccinella septempunctata (7-spot Ladybird), and Harmonia axyridis form succinea (Harlequin Ladybird). Bugs include Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (Hawthorn Shieldbug), Palomena prasina (Green Shieldbug), and Eupteryx melissae, a leafhopper, which lives on the Sage in the allotment.

Celastrina argiolus (Holly Blue) butterflies were recorded. These butterflies have two broods a year. The eggs of the first brood in Spring are laid on Holly flower buds and the second brood on Ivy flower buds. The caterpillars feed on the flowers. The allotment brassicas attracted Pieris brassicae (Large White), Pieris rapae (Small White).

I am looking forward to next Spring when the annual cycle starts again,  when  additional  flora and fauna may turn up.

Andrew Watchorn

________________

Suggestions please

Banner Cross LogoThis has been the church’s logo for many years now but it is felt that we need a newer design, the better to portray a more up-to-date image.

We would like your suggestions on what you think would be a good new design.

As the logo will appear on everything from stationery, publications etc, should convey how you would like us to be considered as a church and/or how we should be recognised.

Your suggestions should be passed on to either the Minister or Terry (for the latter you can pop them in the church pigeonhole) for the final decision being made in December.

Happy designing

Terry

_______________

The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in 1843

Silent Night

See the source image  See the source image See the source image 

In Oberndorf, Austria on Christmas Eve of 1818, Joseph Mohr, an assistant pastor, took the words of a poem he had written previously to Franz Gruber, a schoolteacher and talented musician. Joseph asked his friend to put the lyrics to music so that it could be performed that very night at Midnight Mass. The result was Silent Night, sung as a duet by Mohr and Gruber. They were accompanied by the Church choir and a guitar.

Like most precious things associated with Christmas, Silent Night was passed on from person to person as it touched lives. For Christmases to come, the simple hymn was performed first in families, then by travelling chorales, and eventually it was performed in capital cities before royalty. In the nearly 100 years it took to be known of the World War I generation, it had been performed in dozens of languages.

The year was 1914 and soldiers on both sides of the battlefield somewhere in France were enduring a dark and frozen Christmas Eve night. World War I — the Great War, as it was called — eventually took the lives of more than 10 million people. But it is doubtless that the mostly-young men of that Christmas Eve were contemplating much more beyond their longings for home and warmth and family.

When soldiers on the German line placed candles on small Christmas trees and raised them above their trenches it touched the hearts of their enemies. These men — thousands of them on both sides — spontaneously began to sing the carols of Christmas.

What began in those moments became the legendary Christmas truce. Weapons were put down, men ventured from their fortifications and gathered in No Man’s Land to make note of the season together. They exchanged small gifts after agreeing to a truce so that all could celebrate the season.

And so for a short period of time, no shots were fired. The following day, men who only hours before fought fiercely now stood side by side and buried their dead. Together, with heads uncovered, they held a service to memorialize their fallen comrades. Before departing for another frozen night in the trenches, a solitary voice began to sing Silent Night, in French. He was joined by another voice — this one singing in German — the words of a hymn known and beloved by all.

Together they contemplated “heavenly peace”.

By then, Silent Night was nearly 100 years old. That it was familiar and beloved by men on both sides of the line was no surprise. “Silent Night” was known around Europe and was sung in many languages for generations.

Today, historians are working to correct the tall tale aspects of the story of Silent Night. Regardless of what you read out there, Silent Night was not born of a broken organ incapable of playing something more grand at that Midnight Mass because mice had eaten through the bellows. There was no inspiration for the song born of a city fire in Salzburg.

“Silent Night” was the invention of an assistant pastor and his talented friend for a simple celebration of Christmas. And so it is used these days as well — a touching message of peace, a reminder of the best wishes for the season.

_______________

Faith, Hope and Charity

May we always have these
Not just at Christmas time
But all the year throughout.

We tend to have more faith
More hope and charity
During the season
But can we keep it always

And may you always
Share with others
Your blessings as a result
Of your hopes, faith, and dreams.

_______________

The publication of “A Christmas Carol” written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and taking only two months, was followed by an upsurge in charitable giving

Items for the February edition of the

Headlines

                              can be sent via e-mail to

me terrykirkwood@virginmedia.com or by using the good old-fashioned methods of either popping it into the pigeonhole at church, through my front door or even by phoning me on

255 3771 but whatever method you use, can I have it no later than 15th January, please.

Thank you,

Terry

Text Box: Creases
Ironing Service
 
£12 per 20 items
For all New and Regular Customers
Please call or e.mail Rebecca
for any enquiries and make your booking today
 
07855 213 257
CREASES.SHEFFIELD@GMAIL.COM

 

 
 

The Sheffield Circuit Newsletter

Dash 3

To find out what is happening in and around the Sheffield Circuit a weekly newsletter is produced. This can be found at

http://www.sheffieldcircuit.org.uk/weekly-newsletter.

If you want regular updates you can subscribe to the newsletter there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the source imageA Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.

See you in Feb


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