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ST. MARY'S MATTERS

Christmas floral decorations made at Connect
Dear Friends

This week we have some great news about The Big Give, and lots of info about services and activities over the Christmas period.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you back in church on Sunday!

A verse which resonated during The Big Give campaign:

Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours. 


Isaiah 61:7


Sunday Services

Sunday 13th December 10.30am - service in church with livestreaming
Sunday 20th December 10.30am - service in church with livestreaming
Sunday 27th December 10.30am - no service (We'll be making recommendations of things to watch instead.)
Sunday 3rd January 10.30am - Sunday service video on our website, for everyone to watch, led by the youth. (No service in church.)
Sunday 10th January 10.30am - service in church with livestreaming
 

Thursday Services

Thursday 17th December 11am - service in church
Thursday 24th December 11am - service in church with Communion
Thursday 31st December 11am - no service
Thursday 7th January 11am - service in church
 

Setting a Watch

Everyone is so welcome to continue to use the link to pray for half an hour each day at 6am and 6pm. However, between Thursday 24th December and Friday 1st January there will be no-one officially "leading" the prayer session.

Christmas

Sunday 20th December 4pm - 6pm - Carol-Vanning around Chippy
Thursday 24th December 2pm - 4pm - Christingle Nativity Trail around Chippy
Thursday 24th December 11.30pm - midnight service in church
Friday 25th December 10.30am - Christmas family celebration in church

For Five Villages services click here.

THE BIG GIVE

Praise God for hitting the Target!
 
What a week the Big Give proved to be. The Lord was certainly at work. Whilst writing my last week's article for Mary's Matters, 3 days into the 7 day Campaign, we had raised just 25% of our target with less than 40 donations. At this stage I thought we would be extremely fortunate to reach half our targeted £40,000. The weekend continued slowly but steadily so by Sunday night, with a total of £16,500, the half target outcome of £20,000 over the whole campaign looked more possible. Monday however brought an extraordinary change of pace with donations literally doubling in the space of that day. The total raised by the end of that day was an amazing £32,000!  
 
On Tuesday morning, with the campaign due to end at midday, we still had a long way to go - £8,000 still to be raised, so £4,000 in donations that would be matched - in only a few hours. The prayer hotted up considerably from the 6am Watch onwards. One pray-er left the meeting saying they would contact all their friends across the world and ask them to donate £1!  As the staff team sat in our weekly staff meeting that morning, we kept an eye on the total and could see it continuing slowly upwards - £34k...£35k...£36k...  As we studied the words of Isaiah 61 together we realised that the Lord was at work, there and then, through the Big Give. By 11.30am that morning 30 more people had donated an astonishing £6,000 (£12,000 doubled), and we had exceeded the target with a whopping £41,500 (£44,000 including Gift Aid).
 
So we praise the Lord for his goodness and grace, and thank all of you for the support and energy you have put behind this venture. Of the 128 donations made at least 50 came through the congregation and their extended families. We have been truly blessed!

BACK TO CHURCH

It's great that we can be back in church this Sunday morning at 10.30am.

Please click below to remind yourself of the guidelines. In particular;
  • If you have children please book them in for One Way during the week: rebekah.wiseman@stmaryscnorton.com
  • We've had to remove Bibles from the pews, so please don't forget to bring your own Bible!
We look forward to seeing you.
What's changed at church since Covid

CAROL-VANNING &
CHRISTINGLE NATIVITY TRAIL

This year we're bringing Christmas to the streets of Chipping Norton with two amazing outdoor festivities!

Carol-Vanning . Sunday 20th December . 4pm-6pm

Our very own St. Mary's Christmas band will be touring Chipping Norton on the back of a seasonal lorry, bringing you all your favourite traditional Christmas carols.

Sing along from your doorway, or just listen in!

Christingle Nativity Trail . Thursday 24th December . 2pm-4pm

Experience the Christmas story in a new way. Walk through the town, finding scenes from the Christmas story depicted by live actors (and live animals!) Follow the star, meet the shepherds and finally come face to face with the baby Jesus! 

At the end of the trail we have a gift just for you, which will include everything you need to make your own Christingle.

More info to follow...

SETTING A WATCH

We'll be continuing to meet to pray via Zoom at 6am and 6pm daily for our world, nation, community, church and each other.

Topic: 'Setting a Watch' prayer time

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98265036092?pwd=VEZqNEl5K0t2T1NYU1k0OXBkV0NIUT09

Meeting ID: 982 6503 6092
Passcode: SetAWatch

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a1VRI10kA

NOMINATE THE BRANCH FOR £1,000

Ecclesiastical are donating £1,000 to 10 charities each weekday from 7 – 22 December. 

All you need to do is visit https://www.movementforgood.com/12days/ and click ‘nominate a charity now’. Then put in the charity number for The Branch, which is 1191055.

The more nominations a charity gets, the greater its chance of receiving a £1,000 donation, so start spreading the word to your friends and family.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Comfort and Joy: Reflections from the Church of England

The Church of England have produced a series of Advent and Christmas reflections, called "Comfort and Joy", which are available to be sent directly to your phone or computer.

There’s a Comfort and Joy app, emails you can sign up for and booklets for those who prefer paper.

It’s all accessible from the Church of England front page. Go to https://www.churchofengland.org/ and then click the Comfort and Joy link on the scrolling banner.
Comfort and Joy reflections
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What's happening soon?

Thursday worship Thu 24th Jun St. Mary's Church, Chipping Norton More info
Kintsugi Hope wellbeing course Fri 25th Jun The Parish Rooms More info
Remix Fri 25th Jun Glyme Hall More info