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Sunday 9th December

Second Sunday of Advent

10.00am  Berwick St James


9.30am  Great Wishford

 Holy Communion

6.00pm  Stockton  

Carols and Gifts Service

For future services visit our Services page

News from Around the Benefice

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Sunday 9th December - Second Sunday of Advent

The Messenger


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Lower Wylye and Till Valley Parishes Magazine


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Pet Service

At Berwick St James

Warming up Wiltshire!

Do you struggle to keep your home warm or worry how you will afford your energy bills this winter?

Contact Warm & Safe Wiltshire for free, impartial advice about keeping your home warm, using your heating system, understanding your energy bills and making energy saving improvements as well as registering for the Priority Services Register.  Advice can be given through home visits as well as over the phone.  Fire safety alarm and appliance checks can also be organised in partnership with Fire and Rescue for eligible residents.  

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from speaking to a trained energy advisor, then get in touch. Call 0800 038 5722 .email warmandsafe@cse.org.uk
Web www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk

Warm and Safe Wiltshire is a service provided by Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service.

Exploring Advent:

Getting Prepared

Saturday December 8th Great Wishford Church

10:00am – 12 noon  Coffee and cakes will be available!

A morning of activities exploring the meaning of Advent – preparing for the birth of Jesus.

Daphne Smith will be leading an Advent wreath making workshop, candles of various size will be decorated for Advent, there will be artwork depicting Advent to look at and more to open up our understanding of the important season of preparation.

Please put this event and date in your diary. More details in the December magazine. To book a place please email jonplows@aol.com – everyone is welcome.

Prayer Page

Please visit this page for prayers for daily use. Currently displayed are Prayers for Advent, Prayers for Christmas, Prayer Grid for November, Prayer Grid for December and the CW Lectionary for September to December 2018. These documents may be downloaded and printed out.

There are also links to other websites which support personal daily prayer and Bible reading.

Harvest Service

At Winterbourne Stoke

Doves  of Peace come to

Great Wishford School


At Great Wishford School


At Berwick St James

School Remembrance

On the Great Wishford page

Remembrance  Sunday at Stapleford

More on the Stapleford page



Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)

Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote: "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to ar-rive".  There is indeed a great deal of pleasure in the planning for and looking forward to special events and holidays.  In our preparations for anything new or exciting, we hope that all will turn out well.  And as preparation can sometimes take rather longer than the event itself, we have the chance to dream, to aspire and to be inspired.  

Advent is rather like that.  It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day and ends on Christmas Eve, so this magazine should arrive around the beginning of Advent.  Are you travelling towards Christmas with a sense of delight?  I wouldn't mind betting that on the minds of many will be Christmas preparations, accompanied by over-spending, over-indulging and over-worrying.  These four weeks leading up to Christmas can be frenetic and stressful, but by giving ourselves time to think about the point of it all, we can alter our perspective, and head for it in hope, peace, love and joy.  

Advent means arrival.  Christians often speak both of Christ's first advent, his incarnation as Mary's son, which we celebrate at Christmas; and of his second advent, when Christ is expected to return to restore justice and peace to the world, though "no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father…" (Matt.24:36).  So each year, we have four weeks of waiting and preparing for that first arrival of Christ, reflecting on why he came, and what he means to us.  And each lifetime, we have years of waiting and wondering when we shall see him again.  In both cases, we are travelling hopefully, but unlike the view of Robert Louis Stevenson, it is with far greater confidence that the arrival will be better and more glorious than we could ever have imagined.

Furthermore, in these four weeks of Advent, we travel from darkness to light, symbolically, spiritually and in reality.  We light the four candles in the Advent wreath to symbolise hope, peace, love and joy, reserving the fifth for Christmas Day, when we welcome Jesus as the light of the world.  Spiritually, we are comforted by the knowledge that God came to dwell among us.  And in reality, we head towards the shortest day of the year, after which we can look forward to lengthening days and a gradual banishing of those dark evenings.  

May your journeys through this month be in hope and your hopes fulfilled.

           Yvonne Allen