3rd Sunday of Advent – 16.12.18
The Finance Committee would like to remind you that all Christmas monetary gifts for Father David should be placed in an envelope clearly marked with “Father David”. This includes cash or cheques made payable to “David Osborne”. Pre-addressed envelopes will be available at the back of both Bramley and Cranleigh churches. Any loose cash or unmarked envelopes placed in the collection plate will be assumed to be a gift to the Parish funds.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.
Indeed, the Lord is near.
Today is known as Gaudete Sunday which is derived from the Latin for the Introit at Mass. Gaudete means “Rejoice”. If you are like me, you may be finding little in our world to rejoice over – a terrible week in politics, doubts and anxieties over the direction of Brexit, difficult news over climate change and the poor response of governments to the urgent need to tackle this issue, the pound at a new low, house prices slumping. What’s to rejoice about?
Except, what we are asked to rejoice over is not how well, or otherwise, the world is doing but about what God is doing. God, scripture tells us, is promising a new future. St Augustine writes about this in last week’s Office of Readings. He says, “The time for making promises was the time of the prophets, ending with John the Baptist, the last prophet. From then until the end is the time for the fulfilment of promises.” What was it he promised?
“He promised us eternal salvation and an unending life of blessedness with the angels, and an imperishable inheritance, the joy of seeing his face, a dwelling-place with him in heaven, and the fear of death removed from us through the resurrection. This is, if you like, his ultimate promise. We look forward to it, and when we reach it, we will want nothing more. But as to how this final end is to be reached, he has also told us in promises and prophecies.
He has promised to men that they will be like God; to mortals he has promised immortality; to sinners, righteousness; to the lowly, glory.
Indeed, brethren, because what God promised seemed incredible to men – that from mortality, decay, weakness, lowliness, dust and ashes they should become equals of the angels of God – he did not only sign a contract with them to convince them. He sent, not just any prince, not just any angel or archangel, but his only Son. The road by which he was to lead us to the end he had promised us – through his Son he would show us that road.
I thank St Augustine for his encouraging words which show us that God’s promises are so much greater than merely ‘sorting” Brexit, or giving us a Government that works – he has promised us “an imperishable inheritance, the joy of seeing his face, a dwelling-place with him in heaven, and the fear of death removed from us through the resurrection”. You don’t find that in any party’s manifesto
With fondest best wishes, Fr David
The Parish Advent Reconciliation will take place this Sunday at 3pm in Cranleigh.
A team will be decorating the Cranleigh Church this Saturday from 10.45. Please hold off bringing foliage of holly, ivy etc as its too early to put this up. Instead we will be dressing the tree, hanging lights and decorations etc as well as a general clean up. Please come along if you are free. There will be mulled wine and mince pies.
Jane Graham wanted you to know that the truck with the donations of warm clothes and bedding has left the UK en route for Syria and thanks all who donated.
The next over 50’s coffee morning will take place in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room on Wednesday 9th January. Please open this invitation to your friends and family in and around Cranleigh who may like to be included. All are welcome.
Cranleigh Lions Club – Project Wenceslas
Will you be nice and cosy in your home this winter? How would you feel about helping those that won’t be?
Please consider helping Cranleigh Lions to help others by taking part in Project Wenceslas and donating some or, perhaps, all of your Winter Fuel Payment to us. The Winter Fuel Payment is paid to those born on or before 5th November 1953 and those living in the UK for at least one day during the week of 17th – 23rd September 2018. This payment is not means tested, it is tax free and will not affect other benefits. The payment is £200, or £100 each for a couple, and increased to £300 for those born on or before 23rd September 1938.
If you are eligible you will usually get the payment automatically. Most payments are made in November and December. You may need to claim it if you have not had it before or if certain conditions apply – details at www.gov.uk. You have until 31st March 2019 to claim for winter 2018-2019.
Cranleigh Lions are asking that if you do not need this money you donate your Winter Fuel Payment, or some of it, to the Cranleigh Lions’ Wenceslas Project.
Working in conjunction with the Citizens Advice Bureau, SureStart, local churches and other organisations funds will be used to help local people who have problems with their fuel bills. Some even have to choose between heating or eating.
Money is not given to individuals – we make payment direct to energy companies or we top pre-payment cards up with cash.
If you would like to help those who are unable to keep warm this winter please consider donating your Winter Fuel Payment or some of it to Cranleigh Lions.
If you are a UK tax payer we can also claim Gift Aid on your donation which means we can help more people. Bear in mind that Gift Aided donations can be included on your tax return.
Please see our website www.cranleighlions.orgfor more details and donations can be made quickly and simply online at www.cranleighlions.org/project-wenceslas
This will be our fifth year of running Project Wenceslas and to date it has raised about £14,000. Thank you
300 Club Applications
Over the years, the 300 club has been here to help raise funds for the church. Over the past 10 years, over £11,000 has been raised. The draws start in January with a New Year draw and end in December with a Christmas draw, with 12 monthly draws during the year.
Entry forms are available at the back of each church in the parish and should be returned no later than 13 January 2019 to be included in all the draws for the year. Return entries by putting them in an envelope in the collection at a Sunday mass or direct to the parish office in Cranleigh.
In the current year, there are 124 entries, each one costing £12. After taking away the prize money this had left £648 as a contribution to the church’s funds. Let’s see if we can make 2019 a bumper year and raise over £1000 for the church. Good luck!
Please book your place for the Christmas lunch which takes place on 18th December in Bramley.Numbers are limited but we would very much welcome some Cranleigh parishioners who have been largely absent at the lunches in 2018, please ring Bev on 892712 (mark.bev@ btopenworld.com) or Dinah on 271241 (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 15th December. Many thanks, Dinah
Sister Margaret will lead a Day of Reflection in Bramley on Saturday 15th December from 10.30am. All are welcome to attend – please contact Bridget Eacott.
A Parishioner has a DAWES road bike for sale, please contact the Parish Office if you would like further information.
The next Cameo Evening will take place on Tuesday 8th January – further details will follow.
Community Christmas Day Lunch: If you cannot be with family or friends on Christmas Day this year, you are warmly invited to a Churches Together event in St Nicolas Church Rooms. There will be a traditional Christmas Lunch, carols, presents and entertainment. The event will run from 1pm to 4.30pm and everyone is welcome. Please contact the Church Office on 01483 273620 to book and let us know of any dietary requirements and/or if you need transport. This is a community event supported by local volunteers, charities and businesses. Help would be appreciated on Christmas Eve from 10.30am to set up the Hall.
The Parish AGM will take place on 5th February 2019. If you have an item for the agenda please submit this to the Parish Office well in advance. The AGM is open to all members of the Parish and will take place in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room.