Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lent at St Peter and St Paul

This year sees the earliest Easter since 1913! That means that Lent starts early too, and Lent groups will begin on Thursday Feb 7th - by which time we should have just about finished eating the Christmas leftovers...
This year's course is entitled "Practising Faith: the things Christians do and why they do them." We'll be exploring five different Christian practices - Baptism, Communion, social action, sharing faith and rituals around death and dying.

There will be three groups all meeting on Thursdays in Seal Vicarage:
Group 1 will meet from 10-11.30 am
Group 2, which is especially for those with small children - bring them with you and we'll chat while they play - is from 1- 2.30 pm
Group 3 is from 8-9 pm

If you'd like to come please sign the list in church, or email me to book a place.

New Year 2: Junior Church Council

The adults in the church have their say through the Parochial Church Council, but the children in the congregation don't at the moment have a way of voicing their own opinions. This is about to change, with the inaugural meeting of Seal's Junior Church Council, on Jan 13th after the 10 am service. Any child of school age can come along to the meeting which will be in the Lady Chapel - we can talk while the adults drink coffee. Parents are welcome too - but they mustn't say anything! I am hoping that this will provide a forum for our church children to express their opinion on the way we do things at Seal. Meetings will happen once a term.

New Year 1 : Summer Music to chase away the winter blues

There will be a short Wind Quintet Concert (45 mins) on Saturday 26th Jan at 6 pm in the church hall ( note the venue). The programme will include Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music” and other pieces on a summery theme to chase away the winter blues! The quintet consists of Caroline Ardron (flute) Nick Theobald (oboe) Sue Bishop (clarinet) Philip Le Bas (bassoon) Adrian Wheeler (horn) - and in case you wonder, the bassoonist is my best beloved. Admission is free - there will be a plate out for donations to church funds.

Merry Christmas

I am just beginning to surface from the Christmas festivities here. Inevitably I tend to heave a sigh of relief at this point that there were no disasters. No one burnt themselves on the Christingles, the Crib service didn't descend into total mayhem ... but I hope that in the midst of all the busyness we have also been able to hear the song of the angels and share in the wonder of the shepherds .

I am very grateful to all who help over Christmas - Kevin, who preached at the Midnight service, Rosemary, who works so hard behind the scenes as well as helping to lead worship, churchwardens, choir, organist, flower arrangers... and many others. Thanks to all, too, who sent cards and gifts to Philip and me - they are a real encouragement.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Post Office Closure

Sadly it has been announced that Seal Post Office will close just after Christmas. To help those who might be most affected Peter Mountfield has written a leaflet, with a little assistance from me, with information about what those who draw their pensions and benefits in cash can now do.
It gives details of alternative post offices and how to get to them, but also information about opening a bank account, so that pensions and benefits can be paid directly into it. There is also information available from the Financial Services Authority here.

The leaflet is available online here, from the post office until it closes, from (we hope) the library and in the church porch. If you know anyone to whom it might be helpful, please take one and pass it on.

What's on for Christmas?

You can find details of our Christmas services here. The Christingle and Sunday School nativity are this Sunday (16th) at 10 am. The traditional Carol Service is on Sunday 23rd at 6.30pm. Christmas Eve sees the Crib service at 4pm and the Midnight service starting at 11.30pm, with Carols from the choir from 11 pm onwards.
On Christmas Day our All Age communion service is at 10 am, with a story in place of a sermon.

At the last minute we have had a booking from the Cambridge Christmas Consort, a group of talented young and emerging professional singers and instrumentalists. They are giving a concert on Saturday 22nd at 7.30 in the church. Tickets are £7.50 from Seal Post Office, on the door, or from me. I've heard very good things of this group, who have performed each year in Wrotham Church until this year.