Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas in the parish

The season of advent has arrived, the run-up to Christmas, and our minds are beginning to turn towards the traditional giving and receiving of gifts. For the next few weeks, people will be shopping for presents, writing Christmas cards, and sending out invitations to friends and relatives to celebrate Christmas with them. It's a busy time, a commercial time, and it can be hard for us, caught up in the bustle and fun of Christmas preparations, to remember exactly what we are celebrating and why. But for Christians, this is also a time when our thoughts turn to the birth of our Saviour and what his coming has meant for us all. Here's a short prayer, an 'arrow' prayer, for those moments when the stress of preparing for Christmas makes us temporarily lose sight of its true significance:

Lord, when our lives seem so hectic that we have barely a moment to ourselves, grant us the peace of your presence and the knowledge that you are among us now, here in the world, a living God. In the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

And here's a lovely shot of the village pond in Willoughby, one of our neighbouring parishes here in Warwickshire, taken a few days ago during the spell of icy weather. Perhaps it will be a white Christmas this year! Don't forget, our Carol Service in Flecknoe takes place on Sunday 18th December at 6pm in St. Mark's Church, with Carol Singing on Tuesday 20th December, meeting at Hillcrest House at 6pm.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

longing for summer days?

With the recent cold snap, it seems an awfully long time since the warm days of summer. So to cheer us all up, here are a couple of photographs from August 2005, looking back at our Summer School.

Every year the parishes of Flecknoe and Birdingbury get together to organise a Summer School for local children, held over three days in Flecknoe Village Hall, with fun and educational activities for a wide range of age groups. These include drawing, painting, playing, cooking, singing, a special presentation for parents and a day trip out of the parish. The Summer School's theme this year was Joseph and the Technicoloured Dream Coat. The children learnt songs, baked and decorated technicoloured cookies, painted backdrops and made special 'spoon' puppets for the show. On the last day, parents came to see a puppet show of the well-known bible story, performed by the children themselves.

Following the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation conveyed by Joseph's story, our day trip this year was to Coventry Cathedral. The weather was sunny, as these photographs show, and both helpers and children had a wonderful day out. Here they are together, posing on the steps of Coventry Cathedral, next to Sir Jacob Epstein's magnificent wall-mounted figures - just out of sight here - of St Michael defeating the Devil.

Here's another shot of the children near the altar cross in the ruins of the old Cathedral; behind it, you can just see the words Father Forgive.

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the Summer School this year, and to all the kids who joined us for those three busy days. We hope to see you all again next summer!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Carol Service with Christingles - advance notice

For those living in Flecknoe and the surrounding parishes, here’s an advance memo for your Christmas diaries: our annual Carol Service will be held on Sunday December 18th at 6pm, in St. Mark’s Church, Flecknoe. All are welcome to attend this lively and traditional Christingles service; local children will be reading the lessons and there’ll be seasonal refreshments afterwards. Which I suspect translates as mince pies and wine! Another notice will go out in December as a quick reminder, but do remember to check back on this site regularly.

We look forward to seeing you all at that special Carol Service on the 18th December. Meanwhile, do please feel free to join us for Holy Communion this Sunday morning at 9am.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Remembrance Sunday 2005

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings like eagles
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint

Isaiah 40.31

St. Mark's Churchyard, Flecknoe, Warwickshire

Two PRAYERS follow here on the occasion of Remembrance Sunday; these and further resources can be found at this prayers website.

A Prayer for the Forces of the Crown
From the Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland
Almighty God, in you alone we find safety and peace. We commend to your gracious keeping all the men and women who serve in the Navy, the Army, or the Air Force, who face danger and put their lives at risk so that others might live in safety. Defend them day by day by your heavenly power; and help them to know that they can never pass beyond the reach of your care. Keep alive in them and in us your vision of that peace which alone we must seek and serve; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Victims of War
From a prayer of St Anselm (1033-1109)
God of love, whose compassion never fails; we bring before you the griefs and perils of peoples and nations; the necessities of the homeless; the helplessness of the aged and weak; the sighings of prisoners; the pains of the sick and injured; the sorrow of the bereaved. Comfort and relieve them, O merciful Father, according to their needs; for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Flecknoe: family research request

We recently received the following request for family history information connected to the parishes of Flecknoe and Wolfhampcote. Anyone who would like to help Cyril with his request can leave a comment below this post by clicking Comment or email the Parish Information Officer (see Links column) for further information.

My grandfather William Esme Wright was born in Flecknoe in 1872, so I assume the family lived in the village at this time. His family was listed in 1881 as living in Puddle House, Wolfhampcote. I believe the family were in service with the Thornton family of Brockhall. I’m interested in this period. Perhaps you can help with a name or other information?

Thanks and regards

Cyril Cooper

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Poetry Group

There will be a meeting this month for anyone interested in forming a group to look at a particular poet’s work each month and maybe stimulate some personal writing. The first meeting will focus on the work of R.S. Thomas, a priest and world-renowned Welsh poet who only died a few years ago and whose work deals with spiritual, scientific and social themes in a highly individual and powerful manner.

The meeting is to be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 29th November at Offa House, which is the Coventry Diocesan Retreat House and Conference Centre, based at Offchurch, near Leamington Spa.

For further details and to book a place, email or phone 01926 433309.

The cost will be £4.

For more information on the work of R.S. Thomas, click here for a selection of poems or here for a short but comprehensive overview of his life and achievements.