Letter from the Rector Christmas 2022
Preparation for Christmas
I am somewhat astounded that each year the Christmas decorations seem to appear in the shops earlier than ever and the preparations begin in earnest at the end of September. This year, for example, I saw decorations appear in the first week of October. It would appear that we, as consumers, are ready to embrace the Season of Goodwill well in advance, even before Advent starts. The waiting game gets longer and longer. I can just imagine the excitement and the discussions as to what Santa will bring, only for the ‘Santa’ list to change many times before the big day arrives. My own grandchildren are no exception!
As we look at the retail industry and the preparations being made, we in our churches are making preparations for the birth of Jesus. The clergy are preparing for the Advent and Christmas Services for both St Nahi’s and Christ Church. Details of all services during the month of December are published elsewhere in this issue of Taney News. I would like to thank Bernie, Trilly and Caroline for their continued support to the ongoing work of the ministry team. It is not only services that we are planning for Christmas. The landmark of the Dundrum skyline is the iconic Christmas Lights that appear from early December to mid-January at the top of the tower. These just don’t appear. There is a lot of work involved in getting them in place and our thanks go to Roger Brooks and his team for their commitment in making this happen. These lights can be seen for miles around and once illuminated, people always comment that Christmas has begun, so in a way, we in Taney help people prepare for Christmas. There is also the Christmas Fair which returns after an absence of two years, full details of which can be found elsewhere in this publication. Patricia Parfrey, Helen Geoffroy and their team of volunteers are busy planning and preparing for what plans to be a great day.
The Chancel Guild, Bellringers, Organist and Choir are also gearing up for a busy time with a number of services returning after the hiatus of the previous couple of years. Church Wardens are also bracing themselves for the extra services that are an important part of Christmas. I would personally wish to thank all those involved in the planning and preparation and for the extra workload that such a busy time brings.
Rev’d. Jane Burns
By now, most of you will have met Jane in and around the Church and Parish Centre. Jane joined the ministry team in Taney at the end of September following her ordination to The Diaconate. I would like to welcome Jane to Taney as she spends the coming year in training for her future ministry. Should you meet Jane in Church or in the Centre, please make yourself known to her - she has a remarkable memory for names and faces. I pray that she enjoys her time with us in Taney. Welcome and every blessing, Jane.
Rev’d. Terry Lilburn
Terry has recently joined the team of clergy to assist with services and pastoral visiting. Terry is no stranger to parishioners and I know you will make him feel very welcome. I would like to thank Archbishop Michael Jackson for allowing Terry to be part of such a vibrant and exciting parish. He is with us for a period of six months.
A word of thanks to everyone who brought gifts of non-perishable food stuffs to the Church for the Family Harvest. All donated items have been distributed to the Rosemount Family Resource Centre in Dundrum. This is a local charity that provides assistance to over 48 families who otherwise would struggle. A member of our Parish is actively involved in volunteering in Rosemount and it is always nice to support parishioners in their charitable work. As a result of such a successful appeal, I decided to leave collection baskets at the doors of both St Nahi’s and Christ Church on an ongoing basis and parishioners have been very generous in their support by placing non-perishable food in the baskets. I have, over the past number of weeks, been able to drop much needed supplies to the centre. Thank you for your ongoing support and kindness.
Christmas is just not the same for some people
When I look around me at this time of year and see the decorations in Dundrum Shopping Centre and other retail facilities, it is a happy time for families to enjoy each other’s company. When you see young children’s faces light up with the anticipation of Christmas, I can’t help but think of the families where Christmas can be a difficult time of sorrow. For many families within our parish community who have lost loved ones during the past year, Christmas will most certainly be a time of loneliness when memories come flooding back of happier times. I would ask you all to spare a thought and a prayer, for those of our parishioners and loved ones for whom this Christmas will be difficult.
Rector’s Discretionary Fund
As you are all aware, the cost of living continues to cause concern for many people and Taney Parish is no exception. I am very aware that there are parishioners within our parish community who struggle financially. This comes into sharp focus particularly at this time of year, with the expectation of providing for a family at Christmas. Given the rising cost of living at what can be an already stressful time of year, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund is used to support families who are in need of financial assistance. Such a fund is not offered as a charity, but is there to meet a growing need throughout the year. This fund is strictly confidential and any donations into the fund or payments from the fund are known only to me personally. Donations are received each year from parishioners and should you wish to make a donation to this much needed and necessary fund, you may do so by sending your donation to me in an envelope marked ‘Rector’s Discretionary Fund’ either to the Parish Office or by placing it on the offertory plate on a Sunday morning.
Parish Centre Coffee Shop
Although the Coffee Shop has not returned to its pre-COVID business schedule, Jo Bourke has kindly stepped in to provide much needed tea, coffee and sometimes baked items for those attending classes / services from Monday to Wednesday mornings. We thank Jo for providing this much needed service. Even I partake of the fresh baking when no one is looking!!!
The Parish Centre continues to operate at almost full capacity and it is no short way attributable to our Parish Administrator, Tara O’Rourke, who oversees the bookings and makes sure the Centre is utilised to its full capacity. Tara is assisted in the office by Helen Geoffroy. In operating and maintaining the Parish Centre, we have a number of staff who prepare the various rooms and keep the place clean and ready for the next user. On all our behalf’s, I would like to thank Tara, Helen, Ian, Ray and Kevin for their ongoing dedication and commitment. 4 Rector’s Letter continues
As we look towards the New Year, there is much to anticipate. Patrick Dexter, the renowned Cellist, will give a recital in Christ Church and joining him will be his father John Dexter and his sister, Eilis Dexter, a well-known soprano. This is sure to be a sell out so please keep an eye out for further information. Also in January, there is a Table Quiz planned for Friday 27th January. Further details will be made available nearer the time.
There are now 20 young people enrolled in the Confirmation Class for 2023. The date of the Confirmation Service has now been advised by the Archbishop’s Office as Sunday 14th May 2023 at the 10.15am service. Classes are due to start towards the end of February.
It only remains for me and Anne to wish you all a very Blessed, Peaceful and Happy Christmas and our good wishes for a Prosperous New Year. Please do try and make time over the Christmas Season to join with us in either of our churches that best suits you, as we celebrate the birth of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Rev’d Nigel Pierpoint
Rector of Taney Parish