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Trinity Methodist Church Gregson Lane, Hoghton, Preston, PR5 0ED

Minister: Revd. A. Webb Telephone 01772 323818

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Dear Friends,

As l write this letter it is early November and already the shops are full of Christmas items. Cards, decorations, mince pies, and gift ideas have all been in the shops for weeks already.

It is no wonder that by the time Christmas comes we are getting a bit weary and certainly don't ‘wish it could be Christmas every day’!Yet what is it we are weary of?

l suppose it is the over commercialisation of Christmas. The 4 months of hype about how to make this year's celebration the best ever.

The way in which we are bombarded with images of robins, father Christmas, snowmen, elves and so on, with very little room left for a child in a manger.

However for me that is where the hope comes.

In amongst the noise and busyness there is a message of a child born to be the Prince of Peace, who didn't ask that we go over-board in material preparations but instead simply asked that we open our hearts to welcome him.

l cannot change the way the world has chosen to celebrate Christmas and the way that Jesus doesn't always get a look in. I can however decide how I want to celebrate this Christian festival which marks God coming among us.

Jesus came to bring hope and healing, to listen and respond, to show compassion and love. His priority was to give time and energy to people in need and to share his Father's life changing love.

As his followers today how can we do as he did? How can we move away from materialism and invest in human relationships? How can we open ourselves to God's love and peace and share his love and peace with others?

It is not always easy to go against the flow but that is what being a follower of Jesus is all about.

So I hope your Christmas preparations are filled with hope and peace and joy, and l pray that all of us will be able to respond to the opportunities to share these things with those we encounter along the way.

Grace and peace, Rev. Andrew Webb.

We wish everyone Peace, Love, and Joy at Christmas and the coming year
Thank you all the sponsors of our Crafty Christmas Fair - go to the Billboard page for a full list