Update on Christmas Services

ST MARY MAGDALENE CHURCH WESTONING: a letter from Revd. Nigel Washington

Dear Everyone,

 At St Mary Magdalene Church it is always our intention to offer a positive Godly presence in the village and good quality worship services for all age groups which attend. Added to this we pride ourselves on a warm welcome to one and all and complete safety when people attend church. At this time of year in particular we delight in receiving close on 600 worshippers to the church services over a two week period up to Christmas Day.  But this year has to be different I am afraid.

The dangers of the Coronavirus pandemic mean that we have had to review our provision for this year’s Christmas services and it is with much sadness and heaviness of heart that I  tell you that we have decided to cancel all the services at St Mary Magdalene in December, including the Crib Services and the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services planned for this week.

I know this will be a disappointment, especially to all those who have booked places, but I hope you will understand our decision, which was taken in the light of Bedfordshire moving into Tier 4, our local demographic, the layout of the church itself and the personnel available to clean and steward services. The health and safety of those coming to church was paramount in our thinking.

The Church has decided that it can best offer something of the Christmas Story by directing you to recorded services which we have devised. These will be posted this week on our website: westoningchurch.org.uk  There is a Lessons and Carols service and later in the week there will be a Nativity Service as well. We will also be adding further resources for families to access.

Observing social distancing on your daily exercise you are welcome to come to the church grounds to visit the Nativity Silhouette and to hang your stars on the Christmas Tree of Light and Hope. And the Follow the Star trail will continue with clues published on Facebook and the website.

Next year, once this pandemic is over and we emerge safely, our first priority, as Church, will be to organise an All Age Celebratory Service expressing our joy and thanks that we can move forward. Then next Christmas, hopefully, we can return to our traditional ways.

We hope you understand these actions which are made with your care and safety in mind and we thank you for your understanding.

May we all hold fast to the Light of Christ.  Today is the shortest day. The Light is surely coming.

Stay safe and healthy and every blessing to you and your loved ones.

With love and prayer

Nigel