View from the Vicar

I am writing this just before the start of Advent as the days are some of the shortest of the year with dark evenings setting in well before 5:00pm.

The Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd. and Rt. Hon. Dame Sarah Mullally, in an introduction to Advent, writes the following:

"At the start of Advent each year Salisbury Cathedral holds its 'From darkness into light' service over three evenings. Out of total darkness and silence, the much-loved service builds to a climax with the 750 year old building ablaze with more than 1300 candles. 'From darkness into light' represents the journey of a good Advent: the world is on a journey from darkness to light, and we rejoice in the light."

In the Church of England, the season of Advent is the start of the new Church year. It is a season of hope as we look for light to break into our world and into our lives. Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the light of the world.

My prayer for you at this time is that whatever you are facing, you would know the light of the hope of Christ in this season.

Some of you will be aware that at this time my friend and colleague the Rev. Nick Pike who has served St. James Church for many years, most recently as the Associate Minister, has had to take a step back from ministry due to some health challenges that he is facing. If you are someone who prays, I would ask for your prayers for Nick & his family at this time. The church members will be gathering early in the New Year to discuss the implications of the reduction in Nick’s ministry on the worshipping life of the church.

We would love to see you at St. James over the Christmas season, however may I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a hope-filled Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

With best wishes,

Rev. Simon Kirby, Vicar of St. James, South Leigh & St. Mary’s, Cogges
December 2018