On the afternoon of Sunday 20 December, we gathered in church for a new carol service, adapted to conform to covid guidelines. We are not permitted to sing with our mouths at the moment, and so whilst listening to our beautiful organ for the first time in months we sang with our hands, ably led by a member of our congregation who is an expert signer for the deaf. It was a beautiful way to prepare us for Christmas and to engage with the hope and light we would find in the manger on Christmas Eve.
During our time together, we each had a Christingle box containing all the 'ingredients' to make a Christingle and a Christmas quiz sheet to do. We were reminded of our responsibility to care for this earth so lovingly created by God and invited to think about a Christmas eco challenge we could do.
The church was lit with candles in all the windows and on the pillars and at the end we made a circle of light and prayed for the work of the Children's Society. As we left there were individually wrapped cakes for us to take away and Christmas goodie bags for the children. Even with all the restrictions, it was a lovely afternoon and with the Christmas tree lights twinkling it gave us an insight into the light and hope of the nativity in the midst of our current confusion and worry. 'Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life"' (John 8:12)