Moving on……..towards Christmas
We are living in strange times. Many aspects of normal life we took for granted have disappeared – shaking hands, meeting other people, visiting each other…..and church is no different.
much of lockdown we haven’t been able to gather in our usual ways. Some
churches have discovered virtual meet ups, others have recorded services and
put them on YouTube. In the Avon Swift group of churches, we wanted to tell you
about some of the ways we have changed.
In North Kilworth we have developed a
‘churchyard pilgrimage’. You can download it here: https://media.acny.uk/media/news/post/2020/11/Church_in_the_Yard_Web.pdf
This ‘how-to’ sheet takes you on a mini-pilgrimage around the churchyard of St Andrew’s. You can discover some local history, learn about church architecture, and read some questions that will lead you on a spiritual meditation.
Of course Christmas will be different too - but that could be positive. We’ll have to change our traditions and habits – not always a bad thing!
As we move towards Christmas we are setting up
‘Advent Trails’ in both North & South Kilworth. Each day a different home
in the village will decorate a window. Keep an eye on the Avon-Swift Benefice facebook page for details and the addresses of
the advent windows.
We’re using the Church of England theme for Advent 2020 – ‘Comfort and Joy’.
These words come from an old carol. We are planning to celebrate and be joyful at Christmas of course – after all we’re remembering the birth of Jesus! - but we can’t assume everybody will be ready to do that.
Romans 12:15 tells us we should
‘Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn’.
Some people around us might not be physically able
or emotionally ready to join in celebrations. And so we all need some comfort
too……we remember Jesus can bring hope and joy in each and every situation of
life, even during a pandemic.
Look out soon for the free app called ‘Comfort and Joy’ which has a short daily meditation to lead you towards Christmas.
The Church of England is producing nine online services too. There will be one for each Sunday of Advent,
a ‘Christingle’ with the Children's Society, a ‘Nine lessons and carols’
service and a Christmas Eve midnight service. Charities involved include
Christian Aid, Church Army, Embrace and Marie Curie. From 1st
December you can also watch a short daily video on YouTube by the Methodist
Church as part of their ‘God Is With Us’ campaign.
So there are lots of ways we can get
ourselves ready for Christmas 2020. It might not be what we are used to, but it
might just be the one that gives us space and time to focus on who and what
We wish you a blessed Advent and a
The Facebook page makes it easy to find us – https://www.facebook.com/avonswiftbenefice/
Please take time to follow the latest advice about churches in our group opening. Look on your church noticeboard or contact your church warden for details.
The Church of England also has a page where you can find the latest updates here:
CLLAMS - Christians in Leicester and Leicestershire Against Modern Slavery
Two documents that explain the problem and what to look out for.
If you have a safeguarding concern, you can contact the local Independent Person for your parish.
Their details can be found on individual church websites or on the church noticeboard.
Also see the links page or on A Church Near You.
If you are not sure who to contact our local benefice Safeguarding Administrator is Karen Morgan 01455 699259 or 07853 339936.
In Leicester Diocese, if you have concerns about a child, young person or an adult who may have been harmed or be at risk of harm, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers for advice and support: Rachael Spiers 0116 2615341 or Peter Holloway 0116 261524.
If you have concerns about the immediate safety of someone please don’t delay in ringing the Police on 999 or Children or Adult Services:
- Leicester City Children and Adults Services (incl. out of hours for Children’s Services) – 0116 454 1004
- Leicester City and Leicestershire Adult Services out of hours – 0116 255 1606
- Leicestershire Children’s Service (incl. out of hours) – 0116 305 0005
- Leicestershire Adult Services (daytime) – 0116 305 0004
- Thirtyone:eight tel 0303 003 1111 (Option 2) - Callers should state that they are calling from 'Leicester Diocese'.
For children who want someone to talk to
Tel: 0800 1111
t’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated,
whatever age they are."
“We the parishes of The Avon-Swift Benefice commit ourselves to God and to one another, seeking to become a community that is centred on Christ and inspired by the Spirit to respond to the love of the Father and share it with others."