December Newsletter

01 December 2016

Parish News for December 2016

Martin writes ...

First, let me bring you up to date with two recent clergy appointments.

On Sunday 23 October, Rev Louise Ellis was welcomed at All Saints, following her licensing by the

Bishop, as Associate Priest in the Sanderstead Team of Churches. Louise’s main work is as Southwark

Diocesan Discipleship & Vocations Missioner, so she is not always able to be with us at Sunday

services. We thank God for all that she brings, with her gifts, character and cheerfulness. Please pray

for her, and for husband Nick and children Jessica and James, that they will fully enjoy being with us.

On Wednesday 23 November, Rev Grant Cohen was licensed by the Bishop as Priest-in-Charge of St

James’ Riddlesdown, while continuing as Vicar of St Mary’s. Grant came to Sanderstead in 2014 and

through his prayerful ministry, St Mary’s has been growing and flourishing. This new responsibility

presents a new challenge, and I do hope you will uphold him in prayer. It does also raise questions

about the structure of the Sanderstead Team of Churches. Whatever the church councils of St James’

and St Mary’s separately decide, for the time being ministry and mission will continue as normal. The

Archdeacon is fully supportive and will be present to help us work out the best way forward to serve

Christ and promote God’s mission to the neighbourhood. Please speak with me if you have any


Countdown to Christmas!

If an alien visited the UK in December, he might not notice anything to do with the birth of a special

baby. Few Christmas cards have anything to do with God or Jesus, and he could experience all the

tinsel, trees, parties and fun of “Winterval” then return home without ever hearing the Christmas

story. For it’s a fact that many in Britain will simply ignore Jesus at this time, while some are even

hostile. While we in the Churches want to ‘put Christ back into Christmas’, others want to kick him

out! Christianity does not have the support of the majority of the population, so we must hold onto

faith in Jesus with determination. Read, again, the Christmas story in the Bible, sing the carols, go to

Church for worship. Join with others and find encouragement for your faith.

I do hope you will come along to one or more of our ADVENTure evenings. They are a great

opportunity to meet with others to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Thank you to all who have

been working, preparing and inviting neighbours. God bless you all.

The Alpha Course Welcome!

Alpha begins on Tuesday 17 January, 7.30pm, and everyone is invited, whether you feel completely

new or you have been in the church for many years. What is the point of life? What happens when we

die? What relevance does Jesus have for our lives today? How do we deal with guilt? If you`d like to

know the answer to any of these questions, then Alpha is for you. Alpha is for everyone: for those

interested in investigating Christianity; those who are new and want to make friends; those who want

to brush-up on the basics; those interested in Baptism or Confirmation. Take an application form or

speak with the clergy. You won’t regret it.

Christmas Services

18th Dec 6.30pm—Carol Service—Collection for Croydon Refugee Service + Crisis

24th Dec 3pm, 5pm—Crib Services—Collection for Children’s Society/Mothers’ Union/Home for Good

24th Dec 11.30pm—Midnight Communion—Collection for Croydon Refugee Service + Crisis

25th Dec 9.30am—Christmas Day—Collection for Croydon Refugee Service + Crisis

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