Church of England Diocese of Manchester Astley Bridge

Advent and Christmas Services in St. Paul's Church

5 Dec 2020, 9 p.m.

Advent and Christmas Services in St. Paul's Church

2nd Sunday of Advent – 6th December – 10am Holy Communion service

3rd Sunday of Advent – 13th December – 10am Morning Prayer service

"Good news to share" : an opportunity at a time when we hear so much bad & sad news to recognise that there is good news in Christmas and also that many of us have good news of one kind or another that we could share. So this service will feature an opportunity for people – of all ages - to share some of their good news stories. Think "Good News Rainbow" from what was our 10:45 services, but modified and run in a Covid-secure safe way rather than the free-for-all scramble we sometime had!

4th Sunday of Advent – 20th December – 10am Morning Prayer service

"Building the Nativity scene" : our crib will be in place and we'll bring all the usual nativity characters to it.

4th Sunday of Advent – 20th December – 7pm A festival of Bible readings and Christmas music.

This will be a candlelit service. It seems the Government pandemic control measures won't allow congregational carol singing this year, but we can at least re-imagine our traditional carol service and do something that enables us to worship together and to remember and celebrate the work and love of God. Even as we make plans for Christmas in an unusual and testing year, our traditional carol service Bible readings remind us that God spent ages making his plans and bringing them to fruition, often also in testing times!

Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December – 4pm Holy Communion & "Christ Candle" service

On Christmas Eve we light the Christ Candle in the centre of the advent candles set. It celebrates the birth of Christ, the light to the world. The Christ Candle will be lit at the beginning of the Holy Communion service. At the end of the service everyone will be invited forward (maintaining social distancing) to be given a candle, lit from the Christ Candle, and to process out of church, symbolically taking the light of Christ out from the church into the world. If the weather is OK, people will be invited to line the path from the church to the gate for a blessing and dismissal there.

Christmas Day – Friday 25th December – 10am Holy Communion service.

1st Sunday of Christmas – Sunday 27th December – 10am Morning Prayer service.

There is a PCC meeting due at which plans for managing these services will be worked out. We need to offer our services and worship safely and that involves cleaning schedules and also managing the numbers of people coming to the services.

Plans are also being worked out so that  members of the Oldhams Church can also continue to have a share of our building for services whilst Bolton Council is keeping their usual venue closed.