Sunday 15 December
8 am         Holy Communion
10.30 am Morning prayer and Nativity Play
6 pm        Choral Carol Service
Every Wednesday at 7.07 pm, 15-minute Midweek Reflection

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Advent Calendar on line

Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts (CCCA) has just opened its online Advent project for 2019. This is a free resource, made available to the whole world. Biola University is a Christian university in California.

The Advent project is in the nature of an Advent calendar and consists of a daily offering of Scripture, devotional, art/poetry/video/music.
If you follow this link and click on today’s date,  you will see an invitation to get a daily email reminder for each following day through Advent and until 7 January 2020.

The art work, music, poetry etc is all attributed and explained on the About tab of each day’s side panel.

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St Nicholas arrives in Wivenhoe

St Nicholas will arrive by boat at Wivenhoe Quay today at 2 pm.
He will then process to St Mary’s for his official welcome and speak to all the children. And as usual, his helpers will bring a sackful of sweets to be distributed!

Come and find out why St Nicholas brings sweets and what he has to do with Christmas!
All welcome.

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Dr Paula Gooder talks about the Christmas stories

One of the blessings of social media is that geography no longer needs to limit our participation in events.

On Wednesday evening 27 November, Dr Paula Gooder spoke to an audience in St Paul’s cathedral, unraveling some of what the well-loved and familiar Christmas stories really tell us about Jesus’ birth and why God chose this ludicrously risky way to redeem the world.

Dr Gooder is a New Testament scholar and a captivating speaker, and the subject of her talk is very topical. Thanks to St Paul’s Learning, whose staff filmed the event and placed it on Youtube, we also can experience the evening.

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Let there be lights

Our December printed Tidings ran out of space so we post this contribution from Iain Ward here.
Thanks Iain, for the hard work you and all the team, each year again, put into making the church and lower Wivenhoe look so special!
The switch-on will be performed by the mayor at 6 pm on Thursday 5 December.

“Local traders have decorated their shops and businesses for Christmas since time immemorial, but the idea that they should be coordinated centrally with the church as the centrepiece was first initiated by Councillor Mary Hignall in 1999 during her term in office as mayor.
The main design was conceived by David Sleightholme, who designed and implemented the World War I soldier silhouette projected onto the tower for Remembrance in November 2018.

Quite when someone accidentally rigged one of the street decorations the wrong way up is lost in time, but the error became such a conversation piece that it is now traditional that one of the decorations should be upside down.

The light scheme on St Mary’s church tower is the most complex of the town’s displays – all the ropes, cables, copper poles, spotlights, wooden angels and other gear have to be hoisted up to the top of the tower every year and then be dismantled and lowered down again after the festival.”
Iain Ward

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Christingle and Posada

On Advent Sunday 1 December the annual Christingle service will be held at 4 pm at St Mary’s church.
Always an inspiring and atmospheric event, this year it has the extra dimension of linking  Advent to a pilgrimage as it will also be the starting point for the Wivenhoe Posada.

As explained in our e-Newsletter for December (subscribe here if you don’t already!), the Posada is of South American origin and the tradition involved the re-enactment, by two young people and a donkey, of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlemhem. Posada meaning ‘lodging place’, they would each day ask for shelter for the night and tell their hosts of the imminent birth of the Christ Child. Nowadays the pair are more usually represented by statuettes that are passed from house to house.

The Wivenhoe Posada is a first. It will be facilitated by the three local schools. Participating families will pass the knitted Posada figures from one to another until on Christmas Eve during the Crib service they hopefully will be returned to St Mary’s.
The three sets of figures were knitted by Margaret Bigwood, one set for each school.
We look forward to seeing photos of their progress appear on the church’s Facebook page!

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Tower repairs

As most church members will be aware, there is such a thing as a quinquennial inspection when the church architect goes over the building and draws up a Repair and Maintenance to-do list, suitably prioritised. So there’s permanently a rolling 5-year R&M project underway and recently it was the tower’s turn.

We needed to do some repairs and weatherproofing treatment to the cupola, so that’s why we had the scaffolding up high. Now it has been dropped so lower level repairs to the flint work and pointing on the South side can be carried out.

When that is finished, there will be some work to be done at ground level. All being well, everything is expected to be finished before the Christmas period.

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Welcoming Philip Howlett

At this morning’s service we were delighted to welcome Revd Philip Howlett who will be with us on a three-month placement during his curacy.
It is of course total luxury to have more than one clergy in the parish and we were already blessed with the regular help from Revds John and Janet Driver, so our cup is currently running over!

We’re looking forward to getting to know Philip and for those who cannot wait to lift a corner of the veil: our curate’s Twitter handle is @priestlypenguin and there’s a story behind that – is all we’re saying!

Revd Philip Howlett

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Remembrance 2019

Showing the attendance at the War Memorial at the end of the Royal British Legion’s  service of Remembrance, with young and old of Wivenhoe present.
(Credit to Coralie for the image – thank you!)

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Music for Remembrance

For Remembrance Sunday this year St Marys Singers and soloists, and organist John Rippin will perform choral and organ music by English composers from many periods and ranging from Orlando Gibbons to Bob Chilcott.

Listen here to one of the pieces you’ll be able to enjoy!

All welcome. Free event. Retiring collection for St Mary’s.

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Honey Harvest 2019

It was a real joy to welcome so many people to the Harvest Festival on Sunday 6 October! The three schools’ choirs all sang beautifully and we hope all parents were able to see- it was so full that many were left standing all around the sides of the nave and at the back.

The service was themed around bees, honey and the environment and featured a film clip of Pooh bear, a talk by Steve Allen, a bear in search of honey, lots of buzzing bees and the unveiling of the Wivenhoe Wildlife board in the churchyard afterwards.

Thanks go to everyone who contributed to the enormous pile of Harvest gifts! They were distributed the following day to the organisations and people mentioned in the post before this one.

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