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ST. MARY'S MATTERS

Christingle packs - one for each child who completes the Christingle Nativity Trail!
Dear Friends

This week we tell you about some great events and services that are happening this Sunday and on Christmas Eve. We also have an update from Building to Serve and a recommendation for some holiday reading from Ursula.

Praying that God will "strengthen you according to the gospel" this week.

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.


Romans 16:25-27


Sunday Services

Sunday 20th December 10.30am - service in church with Communion (livestreamed)
Sunday 27th December 10.30am - no service (We'll be making recommendations to help you worship at home 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 (livestreamed)
 

Thursday Services

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.
 

Building to Serve Prayer Meeting

Building to Serve Prayer Meetings are now on pause until the new year. The next Building to Serve Prayer Meeting will be Monday 4th January at noon.

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 (livestreamed)

For Five Villages services click here.

PICTURES OF THE WEEK

Stunning photos of the church lit up during Illuminate Chipping Norton

COMMUNITY CAROL SERVICE

Chipping Norton Churches Together, has joined with St. Mary's Primary School and Holy Trinity Primary School to present to you Online Carols.

With music from the children of Chipping Norton and from our music team, readings from each church in the town and some uplifting thoughts from James, we hope you enjoy this gift for you!

Community Carol Service

COMMUNION THIS SUNDAY

This Sunday we are going to be celebrating communion together for the first time in a long time during our main Sunday worship!  We’re delighted to be able to do this all together before Christmas as we can become a little more dispersed at this time of year. 

We’ll be providing clear instructions on the morning as to the logistics, but just so you get an idea, please click below to see what we will aim to do.

We totally understand that some people may not feel comfortable receiving communion. Even if you are not comfortable doing this, we can still celebrate this precious time as God’s family together. 
Celebrating Communion

CAROL-VANNING

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

St. Mary’s Church is very excited to be undertaking a brand new venture this weekend! This Sunday afternoon we are going to be travelling around with a live band playing jazzy carols to the town of Chipping Norton. Due to Covid regulations, we can’t organise large gatherings, but we are hoping that many of you will be able to enjoy this safely from your own homes or to wander out and listen. We can now finally reveal the list and order of areas in Chippy we will be visiting between 4-6 pm.

 1. Coopers Close/Rowell Way
 2. Evans Way
 3. Cornish Road
 4. Cross Leys/Web Crescent 
 5. Finishing at the Branch (Former Natwest building in town) 
 
We know it won’t be possible to get everywhere, but we hope you might at least hear us from a distance if not see us. We will be setting up at the Branch so if you happen to be walking past between 3-4 pm you may hear us play a warm-up act! 

Please be praying for all the logistics (audio, transport, generator), for a good community response and for the musicians and all those helping.
 
We can’t wait to see you and share the Christmas Joy with you all. 
-Toby

THURSDAY WORSHIP

Thursday Worship . Christmas Eve . 11.00am

Next Thursday (Christmas Eve) we'll be joining in the church at the usual time for Thursday worship. We'll be celebrating Communion together, and to mark the start of Christmas festivities, we'll be adding some Christmas carols into the service so that even if we can't sing, we'll still be able to listen to the sounds of carol singing.

CHRISTINGLE NATIVITY TRAIL

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.

To join the Trail please come to the Town Hall steps between 2pm and 3.30pm.

GREAT NEWS FROM BUILDING TO SERVE

As we take a pause over Christmas from our regular weekly prayer meetings for Building to Serve, it seems a good time to give a brief update to help us each continue to pray in our own time over this holiday period.
 
To date I can confirm that close to an astonishing £2.3 million has been received in gifts and pledges. We can only praise God for such provision at a time when many charities have experienced huge drops in their fundraising.  
 
We are now well on our way through the planning process for The Branch, and have had a very useful meeting with the Diocesan Advisory Committee about our planned church improvements.  We need to wait for their formal response before continuing the initial preparations and investigations required prior to beginning the planning process for the church.  
 
We are blessed with an extraordinary team of ambassadors who are promoting The Branch to local philanthropists and continue to pray for positive conversations with potential supporters. We also have a list of Trusts that we will approach next year to help us with the funding for both projects. The success of the Big Give has left us in a strong position to fund our ongoing outreach work and we are submitting grant applications over Christmas that, we pray, will support our youth, children's and families work.
 
So we take a break for Christmas with much to be thankful for, and much to pray for. Thank you for all the incredible support we have received as a staff team from you all, through acts of service, prayer and giving. It is truly extraordinary to be a member of such an active and resourceful church family.
-Gina

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

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown - recommended by Ursula

I loved reading ’Sensible Shoes’ by Sharon Garlough Brown! It was recommended to me by a mutual grannie (we share 4 grandchildren). After reading it, I immediately bought the sequel which I’m holding off reading until I’m on holiday…

It follows the stories of 4 very different women who land up (mostly somewhat against their will) on a spiritual formation course at a retreat centre. We follow their very human stories as they engage with each other and with God. Along the way, we, the reader, find ourselves also engaging with God through the spiritual practices which the women are taught. It’s a good follow on from the ‘Rule of Life’ teaching series. Don’t in any way think of it as a ‘heavy’ book. It isn’t!! Very readable. Read it as a novel - or go as deep as you want.
Sensible Shoes
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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