A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 00:43

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com

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HELLO THERE!

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On a recent visit to Cowes library our boys chatted to Adam, one of the fab team of librarians. As he was checking out their latest pile of books, he asked them a question ‘Would you rather have sausage fingers or jelly toes?’.  I laughed out loud, but my boys looked seriously at him. ‘What was the choice again?’ one of them said, so Adam repeated the question.  Both boys thought long and hard, weighed up pros and cons for both and then came to the conclusion ‘sausage fingers’…. which I agreed with!
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This prompted the beginning of a very long and highly entertaining afternoon for all of us as we gave one another choices to pick from: I banned the ‘who do you prefer Mum or Dad/Jacob or Samuel’ type questions (!!!) but I think we can safely say we all learnt a lot from one another and our preferences. However, I hit the big one at teatime when I asked, ‘What would you rather Christmas Presents without family or Family Christmas without presents?’
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I am proud and delighted to say that they didn’t think too long before saying ‘Family Christmas without presents’: if only I was brave enough to carry out that choice – I would certainly appreciate the extra time not shopping would give me!  But think about it, how much do we spend time on things which we think are vital and yet are actually not that important in the long run?
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A congregation member came up to me last week and told me how sad she was walking up and down the local high street, seeing all the Christmas decorations and displays but not once seeing a ‘Baby Jesus’ or anything slightly ‘Nativity-esque’ in the shop windows.  As a result, I have asked some awesome knitters I know, congregation as well as community members, to knit some angels and hopefully you will be seeing them appear around the village throughout the month. People will then be encouraged to drop them off in the church close to Christmas so we can truly make a multitude of angels as we, once again, hear the story of the first Christmas!
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Now I want you to know that this is not your local vicar doing a publicity stunt to try and get more people in her church, this is her simply trying to bring us back to the true meaning of Christmas and to spread the GOOD NEWS the angels brought to the shepherds all those years ago.  That message was one of hope, of love, of joy, of peace.  Who is not up for such a message now?
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The world has had too many natural disasters recently, our own country suffering the horrid flooding in Yorkshire last month as well as tragic heartache such as those dozens of people dying in the back of a refrigeration van in Kent in October. By the time you are reading this we would have been overwhelmed with Party Political broadcasts and coverage for the General Election that takes place later this month.  We need some joy in our lives, we need some love, we need some hope and definitely the world needs some peace.  And whilst the decorations are lovely, I am sure you will agree with me that we all need something that lasts a bit more than a month or so.
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I get a great sense of love and joy, and especially hope and peace through my faith and it is always wonderful when I hear others say the same.  But I want all of us, every one of your lovely readers to have similar feelings.  So where can you get them if you do not have any faith?  My response would be – through family, with friends, around our village.  There are various opportunities to get some love etc from the events and groups that happen in our neighbourhood and the people we live amongst as well as those who love and care for us. You may not have recently gone to any groups in our area or popped into the local shops and cafes but I can assure you – if you do, you will find a lot of love and hope: we are so blessed in our community.  So, try and find a way to lift your spirits this month – call up old friends if you cannot get out, meet up for a coffee with someone if you can. Focus on the good things in your life, on the things that are important, and it may enable you to get some more positivity in your life which may not have recently been there during these cold, damp and dark days.  And working on this is important for our own sanity and well-being: we need to surround ourselves in these long-lasting positive feelings and not just temporary tinsel this year, as it will ensure we go into 2020 in the best shape possible.
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So this year don’t panic about that special candle for the centre of your table, the matching cutlery, the perfectly dressed tree…..focus on love, joy, hope and peace and then you will be able to have a truly Blessed Christmas that you all so richly deserve and the one that Jesus came to bring all those years ago.

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With love and blessings for this Christmas Season
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Rev’d Amanda

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P.S. If you would like to join in the ‘Modern Day Multitude of Angels’ challenge and knit an angel to display in your window, drop me an email (amandacollinson01@gmail.com) and I will send you a pattern!

 

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