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St Paul’s And Holy Cross

1st of December 2014

The Christmas story is so full of wonder and hope, that each year when we hear it afresh we are caught up in the promises it holds. There are not many things in life that touch us more profoundly than the birth of a child. Each year on Christmas Eve many gather in St Paul’s to listen to the story of the birth of Jesus. The air is pregnant with anticipation, the children are bubbling over with excitement, the adults, though a little fraught, remember their own childhoods and the sheer delight that Christmas holds. The story is brought alive by the trip to the barn where a real donkey is waiting. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are there, too, smiling at the cameras. And so it should be! The birth of a child should be full of excitement and joy, promise and hope. But this is not the case for many in other parts of the world. The hardships Mary had to face in the months leading up to the birth of her son rarely feature in the Christmas story. Not much is said about the long journey to Bethlehem, nor the circumstances that took them there, nor the difficulty of finding a safe warm shelter for the birth. It is unlikely that this first time mother had a mid-wife present, not to mention the medical treatments we take for granted in the developed world. Centuries later there are still women who experience great hardship in childbirth, still communities where infant mortality is high. But I have some good news to share! The UK Government will double every pound our Church raises for Christian Aid this Christmas so that lives can be saved. The retiring collection at the Crib Service will be donated to Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal – Deliver hope this Christmas. Please give generously.
May your Christmas be full of joy and hope.
Michele, Rector – Benefice of Sarratt and Chipperfield

 
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