With the start of Advent on Sunday 1 December, our Connexion churches have been busy organising special events and services to celebrate this time leading up to Christmas, and in many cases coming together with other churches and local communities.
Carols at Broad Oak
On Sunday Broad Oak Chapel held a communion service with carols, led by Peter Riddle from Sheppey Evangelical Church, and next week their morning service will feature the local ladies choir, the Sturry Singers, complete with Christmas music and carols.
A Family Carol Service has been arranged for 15 December, which will be led by Roy and Dot Whitbourne from Minster Road Baptist Church, Isle of Sheppey, featuring a particular style of music on guitar and keyboard with a re-telling of the Christmas story. And the following week a morning service of carols will be led by Pastor, Chris Smith and his wife Christine, who are returning from Spain.
Broad Oak will be celebrating Christmas Eve with a candle-lit carol service, starting at 11.30pm, to welcome in Christmas morning, with a mix of readings and favourite carols to lift everybody's spirits.
Canapes, Candles and Glowsticks
Bolney Village Chapel’s community have been invited to a Canapes and Carols Christmas Party on 18 December, with a special performance from the local Bolney Voices Choir. Goring Free Church will be holding their family nativity service, Carols by Candlelight, on 22 December, and Wormley Free Church plan to light things up with a Carols by Glowstick service on the same day.
It's time to Shine!
The first week of Advent was enjoyed by folk at Wormley with Shine! a special Sunday morning service for the whole family to celebrate the Christmas story with the addition of craft activities and games.
Wormley played a key role in helping to organise an Advent Churches Together service on Sunday evening at St Catherine’s & St Paul’s, which will be followed on Sunday 7 December by a special Christmas performance by Bryn Haworth.
Bryn is a Christian singer and songwriter who pioneered Jesus Music in mainstream rock. Since the 1970s he has released more than 20 albums and continues to tour throughout the UK. As well as performing at the Greenbelt Festival and appearing on ITV’s Pop Gospel show, Bryn has recorded sessions for BBC’s John Peel radio show and made two television appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test. The Wormley and Hoddesdon communities are clearly in for a treat!
Caring in the Community
Finally, Hailsham Gospel Mission have arranged Carol Services throughout Advent to bring love and cheer to those residing in care homes, Ashglen House, for vulnerable adults, Hailsham House Care Home and Marshview Care Home for the elderly. In addition they will be holding a Carol Service for their own congregation and the local community on 22 December with Dave and Phyl Sweetman.
It is so uplifting to hear about the valuable missionary work of all of our churches. This is just a snapshot of some of the wonderful work they do.
To find out more about what is going on at a church near you, visit our Connexion Network page, which has a map and list of our 22 churches in the UK.