A Vicar Writes: November

Well here we are – November already! Where has this year gone? Only a couple more weeks and we’ll be well and truly into the Christmas run in and I’m sure for you, like me, December is a blur of busyness!

Although as we look back over the last few weeks, its fair to say we have been very busy at St. Anne’s! In fact we seem to be getting busier and busier as a church, which for the most part is a good thing. The last few weeks has seen our Parish weekend, the latest of the men’s events – a bike and beer night, the launch of our brand new Mum and Tots group (St. Anne’s Stars (SAS)), the St. Anne’s Youth Group (SAY –U) car wash and an amazing response to our appeal to support the Hope food and clothing bank. That isn’t including our Harvest celebrations!!

This year we embarked on something completely different, our very own Scarecrow Festival. It was brilliant to see so many varied groups from the community taking part. A constant stream of people came into church on the Saturday to take a look at the various displays. Well done to everyone who took part!

We also enjoyed the regular Barn Dance which seems to be getting more popular each year! It seems most people like to Do-si-do!!!

Our Harvest Thanksgiving service was a wonderful celebration and a great way of thanking God for his goodness. It also saw our congregation swelled by lots of new members, a number of which were made from straw!!!!!

Once again we were privileged to host the amazing Pearl of Africa Children’s choir on their return visit. Their energy, enthusiasm and passion is truly breath taking, and the way their faith is expressed is both heart-warming and humbling.

As you can see, October was certainly busy! There are lots of things happening at St. Anne’s and so many areas of ministry that people can get involved with, as I said at the beginning we seem to be getting busier! But now we head into November, I always think of November as a lull before the storm, it’s a moment of quiet before the Christmas rush.

And it’s in a moment of quiet that we pause on Remembrance day, and at our service on Remembrance Sunday (8th November; 10.50am) To remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In many ways, it is thanks to their sacrifice that we are able to enjoy the things mentioned above.

It’s in those moments of quiet, when we can find a space, that I encourage you to spend time in God’s presence. To quote Bishop Cyril ‘LISTEN is an anagram of SILENT’, it’s in the silence that we can listen for God’s voice. We have a tendency to fill every second with noise or busyness, but sometimes we need to be SILENT in order to LISTEN. I wonder when did you last listen to God? (without you doing all the talking!) As we head towards Advent, its good to get into the habit of putting time aside to wait on God. Why not try it?

This month also sees our Christmas Fair, Saturday 14th November, at St. Margaret’s School. Why not come along and get involved, it’s a great way of building friendship and fellowship with other members of the church family. We’ll need people to help set up in the morning and put everything away again later in the day. Its always good fun and many hands make light work!! Why not come along and get involved.

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