St Mary’s News – the Christmas 2022 Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Christmas 2022, and continues with other news including:

Christmas 2022

Christmas 2022

We look forward to welcoming you to our Christmas services this year:

  • Sun 18 Dec @ 2.30pm – Carol Service
    Carols by candlelight at St Mary’s Old Church
    If you know the descants for some of the more well-known carols, please come and join us in the choir stalls!
  • Christmas Eve Crib Service @ 3pm
    Family nativity service at St Mary’s Church
  • Christmas Eve Carol Service @ 6.00pm*
    Carols by candlelight at St Mary’s Church
    *Please note new time of 6pm
  • Christmas Eve Midnight Communion 11.30pm at All Saints’ Church, Great Horkesley
  • Christmas Day @ 9.30am
    Christmas Celebration at St Mary’s Church

Revd Heather’s Christmas Message

Christmas Carols

Over the centuries, many traditions have built up around Christmas, to the point, where many of us share the same traditions, be it singing Christmas carols, hanging stockings out for Father Christmas, decorating our houses, giving and receiving presents, pulling crackers with jokes told and eyes rolled, and eating too many festive foods, from turkeys to mince pies, all washed down with the ubiquitous tin of Quality Street or Roses (you get the idea, other sweet options are available!)

But there might also be those Christmas traditions that we always do as families that others may not. For example, the first Christmas my husband spent with my family, he was completely bemused, when the Christmas pudding appeared, flames lapping, and everyone launched into singing, ‘Good King Wenceslas’. It was something we always did, but until that moment in time, it had never occurred to me that it wasn’t being repeated in every other home across the land.

Whatever the traditions we have, there is something very comforting and familiar about Christmas. It is something that many people look forward to with great excitement, and of course the story of Christmas, as it gets retold time and time again, never gets old. School nativity plays recreate the drama of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem and giving birth in a stable, the Baby Jesus, the King of kings, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger.

Kings Christmas Message

For years, one thing many people across the country have tuned into on Christmas day, at 3pm is the Queens Christmas Message, a message which has often touched on her deep Christian faith. This year, things will be different, as for the first time for many of us, it will be the Kings Christmas Message we will hear.

Whilst it may be different, the overall message of Christmas remains the same, and it is a message of Joy and Hope, as the angels announce to shepherds on the hillside,

‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

Luke 2:10-11

So as we enjoy all the traditions of Christmas, old and new, may we never lose sight of the Hope and Joy the Christ child brings us.

Saturday Morning Café

Coffee and bacon buttie

On Saturday 28th January the church will be open between 10am and 12 midday serving coffee, bacon butties and other refreshments. There will be fun activities for children and the weekend newspapers for the grown-ups to read.

So if you’d like space to relax or chat, or somewhere to come and warm up while taking the dog out for a walk, do come and visit us. You will be very welcome!

Services & Other Dates

4th December9:30 amHoly Communion
11th December9:30 amMessy Church
18th December9:30 amHoly Communion
 2:30 pmCarol Service at the Old Church
24th December3:00 pmCrib Service
 6:00 pmCarol Service
25th December9:30 amChristmas Celebration Service
  End of Posada
1st January 2023Joint Service with Great Horkesley Church—Venue & time TBC
8th January9:30 amMessy Church
28th January10 am – NoonSaturday Morning Café

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox
    email: [email protected]
    tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
  • Assistant Curate: Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday).
  • Church Wardens:
    Peter & Caroline Finlay, — [email protected] or 07926 387551 and
    Kate & Stephen Penrose, — 07973 421306
  • Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs):
    Richard Chadborn—01206 240541;
    Michael Foster—01206 241022;
    Joy Budden—01206 241871;
    Liz Dixon—07914 001212.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Donna Luxton — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday – Friday 10 am – midday.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    Liz Dixon
    tel: 07914 001212
    email: [email protected].
  • Website:
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