Monthly Service Timetable & Vicar’s Letter

CHURCH SERVICES IN JANUARY

Sunday 5

9.30am Austwick Three Kings Service
9.30am Eldroth Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
11.00am Keasden Holy Communion
6.30pm High Bentham ‘First Sunday’ Worship: St Mary’s Eve Service – see below

Sunday 12

9.30am Austwick Morning Prayer
9.30am Keasden Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy communion
6.30pm Austwick Holy Communion

Sunday 19

9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
11.00am Clapham Holy Communion
6.30pm Eldroth Evensong

Sunday 26

9.30am Austwick Holy Communion
11.00 Clapham Holy Communion
7.00pm Keasden Evening service

First Sunday worship, 5 January, 6.30pm at High Bentham Methodist chapel.  Twelfth Night – the last day of the christmas Festival is also St, Mary’s Eve, which is christmas Eve according to the old calendar as celebrated in the Isle of Man.  All are invited to join with our friends from Newby and the Settle Circuit for this special service.  It will be led by Revd Stephen Caddy who previously ministered there.  All are welcome to this special occasion which Stephen describes as ‘a cross between a Christmas Concent and a Carol service with a Salvation Army Band, plenty of other music and Christmas readings’.

Holy Communion Service at Austwick Wednesdays 8, 15, 22, 29 January at 10.30am

Monday Morning Prayer

At 9.00am on each Monday in January a short and simple service of morning prayer will take place at Eldroth 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