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Dear brothers and sisters

The church extension corridor windows are now looking great and poised to be lit up beautifully come Advent, following the families’ workshop on Sunday. Jilly has brought together children’s and adults’ contributions with style. Speaking of style, the adult Masterclass last night took Bathampton to a whole new level as work got underway for some splendid windows around the parish. Many thanks to everyone who is working on a window and all those who can display one visibly, reminding everyone of the Light of the World.
Before the church is lit up for Christmas, we have some sadder times as we remember those who have died. Rosemarie Poland’s funeral is this Friday, and we heard the sad news this morning that Diana Cloyd had died yesterday. Both funerals will be in St N’s.
We recently had a special service to remember church family members who had died during the pandemic; every year we hold a Thanksgiving and Remembrance Service and invite all who are bereaved, whether recently or longer ago. This year we are having that a bit later than in previous years: Sunday 5th December at 4.00pm. Often the Christmas season is a time when we are acutely aware of the absence of those we love and miss, and this service will be a time to acknowledge that and remember them with thanksgiving as well as some sadness before we move into our more joyful celebrations.
That service is also occupying the first Sunday in the month afternoon slot which is starting to belong to our more traditional service. PCC meets next week to make a decision on it; in the meantime we have Evening Prayer on 7th November at 4.00pm with Ian Williams preaching on the Servant of God.
Don’t forget the Church Prayer Meeting tomorrow! 7.30pm in the Miller Room. Please come even if you don’t feel like it – I sometimes don’t feel like it but I’m always glad I did, afterwards!
I’m grateful for Anna’s appeal for volunteers last week.
  • Sidesmen/people (this name is up for review!) – could you be one, to help welcome people at the door and set up for Sunday services, maybe once a month? We’re having a tea together on 4pm Sunday 21st November to thank our present and future sidesfolk, discuss the role, and make sure we are all clear on what we’re doing. Everyone welcome; talk to the churchwardens Anna or Paul (who’s making a cake for the event!) if you’re interested in coming along and considering joining the team.
  • Coffee is no longer outdoors but we are experimenting with serving it in church before the start of the 10.45am service. We would like more volunteers and someone to coordinate the rota – talk to Hilary (office@stnicholasbathampton.org.uk). These are two great roles for getting to know others who come to church.
  • Unlocking for visitors during the week: there is a slight delay as keys are cut but we are just about ready to start opening on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10am -3pm. Could you help us add another day or two to that? All you have to do is turn up to unlock sometime before 10am, and come back sometime after 3pm to check lights are off and lock. Church is unattended during the day.
And here are two more opportunities to volunteer:
  • World Mission Committee: Nigel White is leading this subcommittee of the PCC to help us support God’s mission elsewhere (our vision is to be a church focused on Jesus so that we love one another, serve our parish and touch the world), partnering with others who are making disciples of Jesus. Talk to Nigel if you’re interested in getting involved in that.
  • Christmas Choir for our carol service at 4.00pm and 6.00pm on Sunday 19th December. If you would like to be part of this to give a lead to congregational singing at both of these services (we’re holding it twice with booking to avoid cramming people in because of Covid) and perhaps to sing an anthem, watch this space for details of rehearsal.
Looking ahead to Christmas, we are planning to run the Carols by Candlelight twice on 19th December and the Christingle three times on Christmas Eve, both with an online booking system, to enable more people to come safely with social distancing and confidence that it is safe. More details to follow.
Do you ever find people ask you questions hoping to catch you out? I hope to see you this coming Sunday when we learn from how Jesus faced a lot of that, and we learn more of him as a result. The reading is Matthew 22:15-46. Please bring a mask and wear it, especially when moving around or singing.
And here’s a repeat of some notices previously announced:

Living in Love and Faith has started and the group made some commitments to one another regarding our approach to these discussions. If you missed the first one but want to join in the course, talk to me about catching up rector@stnicholasbathampton.org.uk .The dates are all Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Miller Room:
  • 13th October What does it mean to learn together as followers of Jesus Christ?
  • 10th November How does our identity in Christ relate to sex and gender?
  • 24th November What kinds of relationships does God call us to?
  • 8th December Where do our bodies and sex fit in to all of this?
  • 12th January How do diversity and difference affect our life together as a church?
Carols by Candlelight 4.0pm & 6.00pm on 19th December with an online booking system
Christingle 3.30pm, 5.00pm, 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, with an online booking system
God bless you,

 
Jonty Frith
Rector, Bathampton and Claverton
The Vicarage, Bathampton Lane, BATH BA2 6SW
01225 338055 (home & study) / 07905 883075



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