It has been a very busy and exciting year here in Taney! Much of our focus has been on celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Christ Church. In planning for this important milestone we decided that we would mark this anniversary between Easter and Advent. Amongst our celebrations we have had the concert by the No.1 Army Band, the Anniversary Service in June and the magnificent Flower Festival and Art Exhibition in October. I would want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to my colleagues, Revs Cathy & Nigel along with the members of the various committees who brought their time and talents to the organisation of these events. We will now be bringing this year of celebration to a close with our Advent ‘Songs of Praise’ Service in Christ Church at 7pm on Sunday, 2nd December. I do hope that you and your friends will be able to join us for this Service of praise and song. Your clergy have been busy preparing for the special Advent and Christmas Services details of which may be found on our website. The Parish School and the parish organisations have started preparing for their carol services and our parish choirs, have been preparing the hymns, carols and seasonal music to enhance our worship and the Chancel Guild will shortly be decorating the churches for our Services over the Festive Season.
Patricia Parfrey and Helen Geoffroy along with their dedicated group of helpers and stall-holders have been busy preparing for our annual Christmas Bazaar which this year will be held in the Parish Centre on Saturday, 1st December. This is our major fundraiser for our donations to Charities and Mission. Please do support us by providing produce and items for sale as well as being present on the day to pick up a bargain or two and to meet with friends. Of course, for the children, we confidently expect the annual appearance of the big man himself! Do spread the word – and bring your friends!
While for most of us Christmas is a happy family time when we can relax with family members in the comfort of our homes, we must also remember that for many people Christmas can be and is a time of fear and dread and even sorrow. As your Rector, I am very aware that there are people within our parish community who struggle financially. This is particularly acute at this time of year with heightened expectations and when increased heating costs put undue pressure on family finances just at the most expensive time of the year. Throughout the year and especially at Christmas time, many people receive some financial assistance from the Parish ‘Special Needs Fund’. This help is not given as a charity, but to meet a real need at a critical time. By its very nature this fund is confidential and is administered personally by myself. Donations are received each year from parishioners and the parish. If you would like to help and give a donation towards this very necessary and much appreciated work of the parish, please send your donation to me at the Parish Office, or place it on the offering plate in the coming weeks, marked ‘Taney Special Needs Fund’. On the other hand if you find yourself in difficult financial circumstances and are in need of some financial help, please do not hesitate to contact me in the strictest of confidence.
Vera joins me in wishing all of you a very Blessed and Happy Christmas and every good wish for a peaceful and prosperous New Year and we do encourage you to make time over the Christmas Season to join us in our churches for the celebration of what Christmas is really all about – the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.