Monthly Service Timetable & Vicar’s Letter

CHURCH SERVICES IN DECEMBER

Sunday 1

9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
9.30am Eldroth Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
11.00am Keasden Holy Communion
6.30pm Newby ‘First Sunday’ Worship

Sunday 8

9.30am Austwick Morning Prayer
1.30pm Eldroth Baptism – Frank Cowperthwaite
6.30pm Clapham Joint Carol Service
6.30pm Austwick Holy Communion

Sunday 15

9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
7.00pm Eldroth Nativity and Carol Service

Sunday 22

11.00 Clapham Holy Communion
2.00pm Austwick Carol Service
7.00pm Keasden Carol Service

Tuesday 24 Christmas Eve

3.00pm Austwick Crib Service
5.00pm Clapham Crib Service followed by short Holy Communion
11.30pm Austwick Holy Communion

Tuesday 25 Christmas Day

9.30am  Eldroth Family Communion
11.00am Keasden Family Communion

Sunday 29

10.30am  Austwick United Communion Service
7.00pm Clapham Church in the Pub, New Inn

Holy Communion Service at Austwick Wednesday 4, 11, 18 at 10.30am

Monday Morning Prayer

At 9.00am on each Monday in December a short and simple service of morning prayer will take place at Keasden Church.

John’s Notes:  Death and taxes and childbirth

‘Death and taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them,’ said Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.  Which brings home just how inconvenient that first Christmas was to poor young Mary – her son born in a Bethlehem Backstreet because the Roman governor had called a tax census, and the king then ordering the exxecution of all first-born sons.

We romanticise Christmas, but at its core is a tale of ordinary people doing what their society demanded,despite all the inconvenience they suffered.  The stories of angels and donkeys and kings (not to mention Santa and the Strictly Christmas Special) obscure the mundane origins of what became the ‘greatest story ever told’.

‘I like to pay taxes.  With them I buy civilisation,’ said the late Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, who left his residuary estate to the United States government.  Scripture does not record whether Joseph regarded taxation in the same high-minded way, but he was principled enough to put himself and Mary through the most difficult of journeys to ensure he was duly signed-up to the Revenue.

Jesus’ dad was an honest citizen; we can’t say much more than that because we don’t know much more – except that he stood by Mary in a situation where all the neighbours’ gossiping might have caused another man to walk away.  We enter the Christmas and New Year season with taxes on our minds (for it is election time).  It connects us to the holiness of this ordinary family;  may their honest, devoted lives connect with ours, in this strange and wondrous time.

Revd John Davies, Priest in Charge
Contact Details:
john.davies@leeds.anglican.org. 01524 805928
Read more from John at bitly/johndavies-talks