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From the Vicar - December 2020

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I’m writing this from my study, on a wet, miserable morning in ‘Lockdown 2,’ wondering what I can write when none of us really knows what will be possible, or permitted, in December.

I hope and pray that lockdown restrictions will be eased, and that we’ll be able to gather, safely, in our church, in the Bat & Ball, and in our homes, during Advent and the season of Christmas – but at the time of writing, the future is very uncertain.  I suspect we will not be able to gather safely, in large numbers, for quite some time.  But I hope we will be able to gather safely with a small number of family and friends to celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, and to welcome again the light which shines in the darkness. 

As I write (on 14th November), Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in this country and around the world are celebrating Diwali - a five-day festival of lights, which represents the triumph of good over evil.  Although some parts of the festival will still be possible during this ‘second lockdown,’ the more social aspects of Diwali will not be possible.  Despite lockdown restrictions, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains will celebrate Diwali as best they can, with many of the celebrations moving online.  Despite the worldwide pandemic, the light will still shine in the darkness.

For Christians, too, the light will continue to shine in the darkness.  We will not be able to worship in our churches on Advent Sunday, to light the first candle on our Advent wreaths, but we will gather online (on Zoom) and light a candle in our homes.  Traditionally, the first candle is lit, on Advent Sunday, to remind us of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Sarah, David and others).  For others, the first candle symbolizes hope.  Depending on the tradition a particular church follows, the remaining candles are lit, during the Sundays in Advent, for either: The Prophets, John the Baptist, and the Virgin Mary; or to symbolize: Peace, Joy and Love.  In both traditions, the fifth candle is lit, at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning, to remember Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

I hope that the coronavirus infection rate will have dropped sufficiently for us to safely observe much of Advent, and to celebrate Christmas, in All Saints’ Church, as usual – though if worship in church is permitted, I am certain that numbers will have to be limited and social distancing measures will be in place.  If we can’t safely gather in our church, and in The Bat & Ball, and each other’s homes, we will still celebrate Christmas.  We will worship together online.  We will sing carols together online and, perhaps, standing at the end of our driveways.  The light will shine in the darkness.  Christ will come.  We will share tidings of comfort and joy.  All shall be well.

For up-to-date details of our worship (online and, hopefully, in church) and other events, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.

Whatever may transpire in December, I pray that you will know the peace of God which passes all understanding; that God will bless you abundantly with comfort, joy and unconditional love; and that the Holy Spirit will give you courage and strength for all that lies ahead.

God bless

Karen x