12th December 2021

Hello everyone

So where did this week go?!  Can it really be a week since our last email to you.

Sitting here tapping away on a damp mid- afternoon it seems so cold, dark and uninviting outside.. but across the way, lights are twinkling on a neighbour's house which to coin a well-known Christian phrase 'shines in the darkness' and brings hope. I am reminded that this is the season of looking to the light.. to the Light of Jesus, a time during the Advent season to reflect, repent and prepare for the coming of Jesus, who is the light of the world.. and the reason for the Season!  

Last weekend there was a lot of light at Harlington and Toddington churches. Both churches offered the joy of two Christmas Tree festivals, with twinkling lights and creatively decorated trees (contributed by local organisations), filling the churches with a sense of joy and anticipation. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the wonderful displays, and to all who came, or helped. Each church raised over £500 which was a brilliant result considering the current Covid climate.

On Friday Tingrith Church rang out with Christmas music and song at their 'fish n hits' evening, with the community choir singing a wonderful selection of songs. Today Harlington folks gathered outside the shop to sing carols and to raise funds for Keech Hospice, led by Barbara and with special guests Samson the donkey and his friend.

The Christmas carol services begin this Sunday at Chalgrave 9.30am Carol Service, followed by Westoning's on Thursday 16th at 7.30pm, Chalgrave's Carols By Candlelight on Saturday 18th at 7pm, Harlington's on Monday 20th at 8pm, and Toddington's on Wednesday 22nd at 7.30pm.  Other things to look forward to are Toddington Band playing their Christmas Concert at St George's Church at 2pm this Sunday and next week Nigel and I have been invited to Parkfields and St George's schools to support their Christmas services and assembly, which we are looking forward to. We are also looking forward to Harlington pre-school visiting their Church to hear the Christmas story.  

With Covid regulations tightening this week, please note that it is now compulsory to wear a mask in church (unless exempt on health grounds), and there will be a booking system in place for some church services (eg Westoning and Harlington Crib services.). At present, Toddington and Chalgrave churches are not proposing to introduce a booking system, but this will be reviewed as more information is received.

Please find attached posters with details of the Christmas services at Chalgrave, Toddington, Harlington and Westoning Churches.

Please also keep an eye on the church websites, facebook pages, and especially the church 'A Church Near You' pages for any updates.

At the moment it is carry on as normal within our churches.  We are not proposing to cancel any Christmas Services and sincerely hope we can all gather together safely this Christmas season - albeit with social distancing and masks in place.

Do please follow guidelines at each church where we will be requesting the wearing of masks and the use of hand sanitiser before entering the church. Let us look out for each other to keep each other safe.

Sunday's services 12th December 2021

Chalgrave Carol Service 9.30am 

Harlington Morning Prayer 9.30am

Toddington Holy Communion 11am

Westoning Holy Communion 11am and 3pm Family service

Tingrith Church - no service this week.

The Upper Room 6pm by zoom

Other services and events this week:

Sunday 12th

Toddington Band Christmas concert 2pm in church

Monday 13th

Morning Prayer Toddington 9.30am

No mums and tots group this week.. we will restart in the new year. Toddington

Advent course at the Rectory 11am, Toddington

Seated Pilates 2pm is not on this week and moves to Monday 20th instead. Toddington

7.45pm Alpha Advent online gathering

Tuesday 14th

Funeral of Dale 10am Westoning Church

Westcaf 10am Village Hall, Westoning

Sewing Bee Christmas gathering 1pm Village Hall Westoning

Toddington Youth Group 5.30pm Wilkinson Hall

Wednesday 15th

10am Morning Service at Harlington Church

Thursday 16th

Afternoon with Friends 2pm Wilkinson Hall, Toddington

7.30pm service of readings and carols at Westoning Church

Friday 17th

Little Stars 1.15pm Westoning Church

Friday Fellowship 2pm village Hall, Westoning

Saturday 18th

Chalgrave Carols by Candlelight  service 7pm

I have spent hours this week setting up Chalgrave church with a card reader and an online donation button on the A Church Near You page. I encourage you all please to consider checking each church's resepective 'A Church Near You' page which has lots of information about the services and a calendar of events. There is also a donation button on each church page (Tingrith's still to be set up) should you find yourself in a position to be able to make a donation online to support your respective church.  It is also possible to make regular monthly giving online if you like me, are short of cash nowadays. 

Here is Chalgrave Church link:

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/7698/

Toddington Church link:

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/7714/

Harlington Church link:

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/7667/

Westoning Church link:

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/7664/

Tingrith Church link:

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/7663/

I am excited to have also set up Chalgrave Church to join with Harlington and Toddington Churches on the "Easyfundraiser' site, so if you haven't quite finished your Christmas Shopping an easy way to help your church to fundraise is to click on 'Easyfundraiser' first before you shop, and then at no extra expense to yourself you can click to raise funds for the church, and continue on to shop with your chosen retailer, who offer the church charity a donation. It is very easy to do.. but makes such a difference to our churches.  Toddington has now raised over £550 and Harlington over £1,000. Here is the link to click:  https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk

 

In the lead up to Christmas you can also take part in the Easyfundraiser Advent Calendar challenge.. with opportunity to win a cash prize for your charity or to be entered into the big draw.  

We sincerely thank you for all your support and helpin so many different ways.

Please look after yourselves and keep safe and well.

with every good wish 

Linda and Nigel

PS: if you need any lateral flow tests, there will be boxes available at each church for you to pick up.