We had some wonderful services in St Thomas’s Church over Christmas. On Sunday 21st December two special services were held. In the morning it was the Nativity led by Junior Church. We had lots of helpers to play the roles of Joseph, Mary, Shepherds, Wise Men and the Angel. Thanks go to Andy Smith and Pat Squire for arranging the service.
In the evening it was the traditional service of lessons and carols by Candlelight. This is a beautiful service and a great opportunity to hear the Christmas message. Thanks go to all the readers and contributors and of course to Dafydd Meares for arranging all the candles and making sure the Church didn’t burn down!!
Afterwards there was a Candlelit Supper in the Church Hall in support of Christian Aid. This get-together is the perfect finish to a great day. Special thanks go to Mrs Lucy Lake for arranging this Candlelit Supper as it will be her last one in charge as she is taking well deserved retirement from catering!
Christmas Day worship was a simple, short service led by our Minister, Rev Gareth Roberts and was the perfect way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s always a lovely service and an opportunity to see friends of St Thomas’s who we don’t normally see throughout the year as they return home to see family.
It was another great year for Operation Christmas Child at St Thomas’s Church where 121 shoeboxes were filled and a grand £410 raised to go towards the cost of transportation. Thank you to all who donated, knitted and helped for this wonderful cause.
It’s that time of year again when St Thomas’s Church fills shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child!
TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls or stuffed toys (with CE label), toy trucks, harmonica, yo-yo, skipping rope, ball, small puzzles etc.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks & paper, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc.
HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush and toothpaste, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel.
OTHER ITEMS: Hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, wrapped sweets (sell by date must be at least March of the following year).
DO NOT INCLUDE: used or damaged items, war related items such as toy guns, play soldiers or knives; chocolate or other food items; liquids or lotions of any type including bubbles; medicines; hand-made or knitted stuffed toys; anything of a political, racial or religious nature; marbles or sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; clothing other than as listed above.
When infants are baptised in St. Thomas’s they are presented with a colourful Bible and a teddy, in addition to a card and baptism certificate.
The teddies – pink for girls, and blue for boys! – are knitted by a member of the church, and are used as a means of keeping in touch with the children and their families following the baptism.
Periodically we hold a “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” and those on the Cradle Roll, as well as the younger members of Junior Church, are invited to bring their teddies along for an afternoon of fun. Such a “Fun Afternoon/Teddy Bears’ Picnic” was arranged to be held in a local park at the end of August, but due to a very showery morning, we met in the church. After an activity time in the hall, we had our picnic which included teddy crisps, teddy biscuits and teddy cakes!
This prayer written by Rev. Bill Kyle has a special meaning for us as we first met Bill when we attended his church in London before and after we were married, indeed he was the Minister who officiated at our wedding 50 years ago.
Bill was a ‘follower’ of Leslie Weatherhead and strong on pastoral care. He set up the Westminster Pastoral Foundation before his tragically early death at 49. This prayer encapsulates something of his faith and his love for people that inspired us then and since.
That we may Accept the Nature of Life
The world which is our home is a place of light and dark, sunshine and shadow, laughter and crying, gaiety and drabness, a cradle of innocence, a mountain of
glory, a hill of anguish, a cross of agony, a tomb of death and a garden of life.
We try, O God, for innumerable and unknowable reasons, to hold those things
which seem satisfying and enriching – we strive to banish darkness, to be rid of
pain to forget death and to live without the ravages of experience and age.
All of us have moments when we fight realities we can never vanquish and, in
the struggle, a part of ourselves seems destroyed. The vision of Jesus Christ
beckons us to a world which has no authority to destroy us. “Fear not,” His calm
voice speaks, “I have overcome the world.”
Enable us to deal with each moment – to see meaning in grief as well as in
ecstasy – to find a deeper sympathy and tolerance through our suffering – to
enshrine an eternity of joy in a brief encounter; to find through all things seen-and
experienced that which can enable and bring depth to the dimensions of our
Save us from hiding in the corners of life like frightened children; may we
believe in strength when only weakness is our experience. Help us to grow in
mind, spirit and soul and may our immortality be not only a hope beyond this
mortality but may it be the light and joy, laughter and love that people find in us
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Summer is the time when many of us go away on holiday and attend worship in different churches in various parts of the country. It’s only when when I am on holiday that I can be led in worship, rather than leading others, and so I find holidays are very important in recharging my spiritual batteries.
It is always a pleasure to enter a church or chapel, even if it is just to admire the architecture of the building during mid-week. Churches can be islands of peace and quiet in a sea of noise and business.
One of the most famous churches is St Paul’s Cathedral. Christopher Wren was commissioned to build a house of God. The original intention was to improve the old St Paul’s Cathedral, but when this was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, Wren could begin afresh and build a cathedral entirely of his own design. It took thirty-five years to complete, and although he designed many other churches and buildings, St. Paul’s is his masterpiece. He is buried in the crypt and the words in Latin over his grave are translated “Reader, if you seek a monument, look about you”
None of us is building a great cathedral, so what will our monuments be? Can I suggest that they will be the way that we touch the lives of others, treat them with kindness and respect, and help people in need. This will be our legacy, our monument
Bible readings 1 Chronicles 22 :11-16; Matthew 22:34-40
Almighty God, we thank you for everything of beauty which has been created by those with skill in art or craft. We are conscious that many have used their abilities to your glory and our humble prayer is that we may dedicate such gifts as we possess to your service and to the service of our fellow men and women, through `Jesus Christ our Lord AMEN.
With every blessing