Christmas – joy or dismay by Revd. Jan Brookshaw

Christmas – joy or dismay?

It’s the beginning of December so Christmas is still about 25 days away, not that you would know it.  The shops are playing carols non-stop, every school is preparing its nativity play or Christmas show.    The adverts are encouraging you to spend, spend, spend.  The churches are offering extra services to celebrate Jesus’ birth.   Does this fill you with feelings of joy or are you wanting to forget Christmas with all its enforced jollity?

If you are in the latter group it might be for many reasons.  Perhaps you are bereaved.  It could be that you have financial worries and cannot afford the presents the children want.  Maybe you will be spending Christmas on your own and dread the loneliness.  Possibly a past Christmas has been painful for you.

Whatever your reason for not enjoying the Christmas season, you certainly are not alone.   With that in mind we are offering everyone who feels like that a service called “The Longest Night Service”.   That name reflects both the physical darkness at this time of year and the feelings of darkness that can overwhelm us in the face of everyone else apparently enjoying the Christmas season.

The longest night is actually Thursday 21st December but our Longest Night service is going to be on Friday 22nd at 6pm at Cheriton church in our neighbouring Benefice of Upper Itchen.  The service is gentle, quiet and prayerful, with a few bible readings, prayers and some appropriate carols.  We do hope you can join us.

Jan Brookshaw

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