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Parish Update - 2nd December 2020



Dear all,


As with so much during 2020, Christmas is not going to be quite the same this year. Many people we have spoken to plan to work within the guidelines we have been given to see family in the days either side of Christmas. They are looking forward to spending important time with people they have not seen properly for weeks, if not months. Many others, though, have decided to act prudently and will be limiting their celebrations to their own households. Whatever we choose to do, the shadow of Covid-19 will still hang over us. The reality is that the more people we mix with, the greater the risk to our own health and the health of others.


Christmas will be different in our churches this year as well. We still have to limit attendance so that we can work within social distancing guidelines. Even though our choirs can sing, the rest of us will not be able to join in. Belting out our favourite Christmas carols will have to be done in the privacy of our own homes! In planning our services within the guidelines, we have tried to create as much opportunity as possible for as many people as possible to be part of our Christmas worship, be that in person or online. The reality is that we cannot please everyone, but we hope that most people will find something for them in our offering. Our plan of services across the parish is below. We encourage you to look at this carefully and book places as soon as you can.


As we walk through this Advent, we might remember U.A. Fanthorpe’s famous poem, BC:AD:


This was the moment when Before Turned into After, and the future’s Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.


This was the moment when nothing Happened. Only dull peace Sprawled boringly over the earth.


This was the moment when even energetic Romans Could find nothing better to do Than counting heads in remote provinces.


And this was the moment When a few farm workers and three Members of an obscure Persian sect


Walked haphazard by starlight straight Into the kingdom of heaven.


On the one hand, the event we are preparing ourselves to celebrate on Christmas Day was beyond a seismic shift. It was so significant that it marked a shift in how we see time itself – a shift from the years before Christ was known to the years in which he was. It was a moment from when nothing could be the same.


On the other hand, so much of the Christmas story is haphazard. The story is so unexpected and unlikely – from the odd couple of Mary and Joseph to the place of Jesus’ birth, from the shepherds to curious foreign magi. It is so out of kilter with what we might have assumed for the birth of the Messiah.


Yet each year, we too journey with the shepherds and the magi to pay homage at the manger. Our journey to Christmas each year is also haphazard, usually with plenty of wrong turns along the way. But however haphazard our journey might have been – and 2020 has been particularly so – God will still guide us once again to meet Christ at Bethlehem on Christmas Day.


With love and prayers to you all for a thoughtful Advent, and a peaceful Christmas.

The Reverend Dr Nicholas Peacock The Reverend Beth Lewis

Team Rector Team Vicar

cheamrector@cheamparish.org.uk beth@cheamparish.org.uk



NOTICES


Regular Worship

From Sunday 6th December, we will be returning to a similar pattern of worship in our churches as we had pre-lockdown. This is likely to be the pattern of worship for the foreseeable future, notwithstanding a further period of lockdown.


St Dunstan’s

Parish Eucharist: Sundays at 9.30am (also livestreamed on YouTube)

Midweek Eucharist: Wednesdays at 11.00am


St Oswald’s

Eucharist: 10.00am on Sundays 6th and 20th December, 3rd, 17th, and 31st January

Service of the Word: 10.00am on Sundays 13th and 27th December, 10th and 24th January

Midweek Advent Eucharist: 9.30am on Thursdays 10th and 17th December


St Alban’s

Eucharist: 10.45am on Sundays 13th and 27th December, 10th and 24th January

Open for Private Prayer: 10.30am-11.00am 6th and 20th December, 3rd, 17th, and 31st January

Midweek Advent Eucharist: 10.00am on Wednesdays 9th, 16th and 23rd December


We have limited capacity in our churches due to social distancing. We don’t want to turn anyone away, but to be sure of a place at one of our services, please contact:


St Dunstan’s: The Parish Office (07928 833324 / office@cheamparish.org.uk)

St Oswald’s: Bryan Hopper (07787 755142 / bryan.hopper@btinternet.com)

St Alban’s: Carol and John Adams (07504 442279)


For those who are unable to attend, other than our own weekly online service, we recommend:

· The Church of England weekly worship, available online each Sunday here.

· Worship broadcast from Southwark Cathedral, details of which can be found here.

· The ‘Daily Hope’ phoneline (0800 804 8044), which has been set up specifically for those unable to join online services.


Family Service

Our planned Family Service at St Dunstan’s at 11.15am on Sunday 13th December will go ahead in church. This is a relaxed service and a ‘shush free’ zone in which making noise really doesn’t matter! To be sure of a place, please contact the Parish Office.


Christmas Services 2020

Our celebrations of Christmas in church will follow a different pattern to normal:


St Dunstan’s

A Service of Readings and Carols - Sunday 20th December at 5pm and 7pm

A shortened carol service with five readings, prayers, and carols sung by our choir.

Booking required to attend in person. Also available to watch in your own time on YouTube from 7pm.

Crib Service – Christmas Eve from 3pm

A telling of the Christmas story for families with carols sung by member of our choir.

Pre-recorded and available on YouTube only from 3pm.

The First Eucharist of Christmas – Christmas Eve at 6.30pm and 11.30pm

Two ‘sittings’ of a simpler, but traditional Midnight Mass.

Booking required to attend in person. Also available on YouTube at 11.30pm.

Christmas Morning Eucharist – Christmas Day at 9.30am

A Christmas morning celebration – bring the family!

Booking required to attend in person. Also available on YouTube.


To book for services at St Dunstan’s, please contact the Parish Office

(07928 833324 / office@cheamparish.org.uk)


St Oswald’s

Carol Service – Sunday 20th December at 5pm

A service of readings and carols.

Booking required to attend in person.

The First Communion of Christmas – Christmas Eve at 11.30pm

A simple, but traditional Midnight Mass.

Booking required to attend in person.

Christmas Morning Eucharist – Christmas Day at 10.00am

A Christmas morning celebration!

St Oswald’s will also be open for private prayer from 1.00pm-4.00pm on Christmas Eve.


To book for services at St Oswald’s, please fill in the form (click here)


St Alban’s

The Longest Night – Sunday 20th December at 7pm

A reflective service especially for those who find Christmas difficult.

Booking required to attend in person.

The First Communion of Christmas – Christmas Eve at 6.30pm

An earlier celebration of ‘Midnight Mass’.

Booking required to attend in person.

Christmas Morning Eucharist – Christmas Day at 10.45am

A Christmas morning celebration!

St Alban’s will also be open for private prayer from 1.00pm-4.00pm on Christmas Eve.


To book for services at Alban’s, please fill in the form (click here)


Christmas Service – Help Required!

Our Christmas services always require help from a lot of people. Even though we cannot offer the services and refreshments we would like to, we will still definitely need help!


At St Dunstan’s, we are looking for looking for offers to read at each service and we will need stewards/welcomers at each service as well. To offer help, contact Nick, the Churchwardens or the Parish Office.


At St Oswald’s and St Alban’s, for each service we are looking for stewards/welcomers for each service and help with sanitising, as well assistance setting up the crib in each church after the Sunday morning services on Sunday 20thDecember. To offer help, contact Beth or the Churchwardens.


Mothers’ Union – Help For Refuge

The Mothers’ Union have an ongoing connection with our local refuge. They have asked for donations for Christmas goodies – in particular chocolates, chocolate biscuits, tins of sweets, Christmas crackers, or similar. If you would like to offer something, please contact Sally Steele (sally.steele@hotmail.com).


Prayers

If you would like us to pray for someone or something, please email the office. We will compile a weekly prayer list to be used at our services. For reasons of privacy, we will use first names only and the person for whom you are asking us to pray should be happy for you to do this.


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St Dunstan’s Church

Church Road

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Surrey

SM3 8QH

 

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