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Bishop Libby reminds us:

"One way we are generous is in prayer – so Bishop Malcolm extends a final reminder of the invitation to join an hour of prayer for the children and young people of our diocese this evening, 11th January, at 7.30pm on Zoom. He says, ‘Whilst all ages have suffered one way or another during the pandemic, many of us will be particularly aware of the impact prolonged periods of isolation and uncertainty have had on the wellbeing of our children and young people. If you would like to attend, or know others with a particular heart for children and young people in our communities, please email me on bishopofrepton@derby.anglican.org and we will send you the zoom invitation."
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We are saddened to hear of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and wanted to share this moving tribute from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Our prayers are with Archbishop Tutu’s family and loved ones.The death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (always known as Arch) is news that we receive with profound sadness – but also with profound gratitude as we reflect upon his life. My prayers and condolences are with his family and all who loved him, with the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa, and all of the people of South Africa.

Arch’s love transformed the lives of politicians and priests, township dwellers and world leaders. The world is different because of this man.

Archbishop Tutu was a prophet and priest, a man of words and action, one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life. He was a man of extraordinary personal courage and bravery: when the police burst into Capetown Cathedral, he defied them by dancing down the aisle.

He was a man of enormous vision: seeing the possibilities for building the Rainbow Nation long before anyone else, except perhaps President Mandela.

His vision and bravery were allied with a canny political sense and wisdom, enabling him to be a healer and apostle of peace while so many still saw wounds and war.

He was a pioneer, the first Black Archbishop of Capetown, the pioneer of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He was a great warrior for justice who never stopped fighting – whether it was for those in his own country, for inclusivity in the South African Constitution, or for those suffering injustice around the world.

When you were in parts of the world where there was little Anglican presence and people weren’t sure what the Anglican church was, it was enough to say “It’s the Church that Desmond Tutu belongs to” – a testimony to the international reputation he had and the respect with which he was held.

Most of all he was a Christian disciple – that was the root of everything else.

After meeting him, many would speak of being in the presence of one who brought God close to them. His joy, grace, laughter, hope and life caught up those around him with a sense of Jesus Christ.

It was Jesus’ love we saw in his eyes, Jesus’ compassion we heard in his voice, Jesus’ joy we heard in his laughter, Jesus’ face we saw in his face. And it was beautiful and brave.

His greatest love is now realised as he meets his Lord face to face.

We are thankful today for such a life so well lived, even as we feel the sorrow of such great loss.
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❄️The Crib Service - 3.30pm, Christmas Eve ❄️

For a number of years now the St Andrew’s Crib Service at 3.30 pm on Christmas Eve has taken the form of a scratch nativity play with all of the children dressed as a character. It has been gloriously chaotic but also good fun. This year we will do things differently, though, to stay covid-safe.

Children may [or may not] arrive dressed as a character in the Christmas story but we are not offering our costumes box this year. Children will sit with their parents, each group distanced from the next, and will not be moving about and mixing with other family groups. The Rev Felicity will tell the story as before, but instead of calling the children to the front, Felicity will move the crib figures into place as the story progresses. We will - as usual - sing some simple carols.

The service is aimed at nursery and infant school children and their families, although of course there is some flexibility on that, and is an ideal first church service to attend with children, grandchildren and godchildren.

Track and Trace is still operating and we are already back to wearing masks to come into church.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
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It’s Carols round the Brazier tomorrow (Christmas Eve) at 6.30pm. All welcome!

Please note. This is an outdoor event and well-spaced, so face coverings are not mandatory but please wear one if you wish.

See you tomorrow for some festive cheer.
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❄️AN UPDATE ON CHRISTMAS SERVICES FROM REV. FELICITY❄️

Hello everyone,

With the covid situation developing very quickly once again, I’m writing to update you.

All of the Christmas planned services and Carols Round the Brazier will still take place.

Track and Trace is still operating and we are already back to wearing masks to come into church. Once in your place, the service leader, after conferring with the wardens, will announce if masks can be removed to sing, which will depend on the space and ventilation available.

The Crib Service

For a number of years now the Crib Service at 3.30 pm on Christmas Eve has taken the form of a scratch nativity play with all of the children dressed as a character. It has been gloriously chaotic but also good fun. This year we will do things differently, though, to stay covid-safe [last year we had to cancel altogether and really don’t want to do that again]. Children may [or may not] arrive dressed as a character in the Christmas story but we are not offering our costumes box this year. Children will sit with their parents, each group distanced from the next, and will not be moving about and mixing with other family groups. I will tell the story as before, but instead of calling the children to the front I will move the crib figures into place as the story progresses. We will as usual sing some simple carols, including the ones which go to nursery rhyme tunes. The service is aimed at nursery and infant school children and their families, although of course there is some flexibility on that, and is an ideal first church service to attend with children, grandchildren and godchildren.

Tea time on Christmas Eve….and the magic begins!

It is Wednesday with over a week to go until Christmas. If the situation changes I will give a further update.

With best wishes

Felicity
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