Suddenly the warm days of summer have become little more than a memory as both the mornings and evenings become darker and colder too. The leaves are also starting to come off the trees in large numbers. I write this as people begin to look forward to the autumn half term, the end of which will see us into November, a busy month!
The month begins with All Saints’ Day on November 1st; when we give thanks for all those Christians who have died and gone to be with their Lord in heaven. These are not special folk who have performed incredible miracles but ordinary people who have done their best to live here on earth as they believed that God wanted them to. On Sunday 3rd; November there will be services at Ettington (4 pm) and Alderminster (6.30 pm) to give thanks for, and remember, friends and relatives who have died. Everyone who would like to attend an “In Loving Memory” service is warmly invited to do so.
The third Sunday of November will be the usual Benefice service at Pillerton but we will have an additional Benefice Service the following week at Ettington when Bishop John will conduct a United Service of Healing at 10.30 am. This is the only service in the Benefice that day and will follow on from the a day on Healing which Bishop John will also lead in the Village Hall at Newbold-on-Stour on Tuesday 19th; November. For those interested in attending the day at Newbold, bookings can be made through Colette Inman (Telephone: 07583 434468 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Healing is something about which Bishop John knows a great deal and it is likely to be a very worthwhile day.
As the month ends so we will be anticipating the season of Advent when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ in the stable at Bethlehem on the first Christmas. We also use this time to prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming. These weeks in the run up to Christmas are so often more about preparations for Christmas – a mad dash to the shops for cards, presents, wrapping paper, food, drink, more drink, etc. In addition there are parties to attend and prepare for, relatives to visit and so much else to complete. All good stuff but largely irrelevant to the true meaning of Christmas!
Amidst all the hassle of Christmas preparation why not try to make space for some reflection and prayer so we are really ready for the coming of Christ whenever that may be? As a means to help us do this there will a weekly series of four Advent Compline services in Ettington Church beginning on Wednesday 27th; November at 7 pm. Compline is a lovely, simple evening service, in a lovely atmospheric setting with time to reflect and draw near to God – why not give it a try?
Enjoy November and Advent and all that they have to offer!