Looking back at Christmas

Stories round the treeIf I were asked to select my favourite Christmas event of 2017 I'd be hard put to it.

The season kicked off with a new Christingle service at St Andrew's on the 3rd Dec - attended by about 70 people of all ages. It was a wonderfully atmospheric moment as we all stood around the church in the flickering light of our Christingles, then one by one blew them out.

But less than a week later there were about 40 women sticking together with icing the elements of gingerbread houses - not only good fun, but enhanced by Gill Maiden's challenging thought for the day.

The next day, The Polar Express took children up and down the church to the 'Stories round the tree'; then later Emmanuel had their Carols by Candlelight - my favourite was 'Thorns in the straw' by Graham Kendrick: imagining Mary reflecting on what this child would be, from the little she had been told.

A week later was St Andrew's Carol service, where the top of my list was Jack playing the timpani for 'The people that walked in darkness'.

But don't forget the 'Little Rews' Toddler Nativity that same week: I hope to get hold of some photos as the children were so cute and the costumes fabulous! Some of them were also used on Christmas Eve at the Crib service, when people are invited to turn up dressed as shepherds, angels or wise men.

Then at last it was the midnight service, followed by an All Age celebration on Christmas Day.

It's easy to get so engrossed in 'events' that you miss the point of it. But my experience this year was of many meaningful moments: all of them were pointing to the Saviour of the world, and my hope is that all who attended were helped to worship him.