2020 was such an unusual year that we’ve decided to collect some of our online offerings on a page to be enjoyed in the future.

The St Peter’s Carol Service (click above) featured Alec Harmon on oboe, soprano Lucy Crowe, Romee Day on piano and organ and a lively selection of St Peter’s eclectic voices. Edited by Cerys Jones.

 

Petertide Celebrations, June 2020

 

 

CHRISTMAS DAY

 

Madonnna and child copy

 

If you cannot join us in church, please click on the link below to follow the service.

A SERVICE OF THE WORD CHRISTMAS DAY

In Church Friday 25 December 10am

 

VICAR’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

 

Julia Portrait

 

From Rev’d Julia Porter-Pryce

 

Be careful what you wish for…

Ten days before Christmas – not normally a happy time of year for vicars – I flippantly said to the organist, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be told I have to self-isolate for Christmas. And it happened. I felt desolate at the prospect of spending my last Christmas at St Peter’s staying indoors waiting for symptoms to develop.

The Christmas story is full of surprises. Carefully laid plans go horribly wrong. Joseph was going to marry a pure young woman. Mary had never imagined giving birth in a stable. The shepherds were expecting another starry night on the hills, passing the time with shepherd boy banter. Nobody expected a grand conjunction of planets and angelic apparitions.

There was always talk of a pared down Christmas. A new minimal Christmas felt almost attractive. We always knew it would be wise to keep our options open.

But the PM’s announcement last Saturday afternoon still came as a shock to many. ‘Bombshell is a blow to battle-weary Britain’s solar plexus’ announced the Sunday Telegraph. ‘Christmas is cancelled by surging mutant virus’ said the Sunday Times. ‘Will this nightmare ever end’ lamented Mail on Sunday. And the Sunday Mirror, concise as ever, simply stated ‘Lost Xmas’.

The variety of creative responses to the disappearance of our usual festive celebrations is heart-warming. It was with heavy hearts we cancelled St Peter’s annual Carol Service this year. Within a week we had gathered readers, singers and musicians to record our first online event – from church and from home. It can still be heard on the parish website if you missed it.

In the past weeks of Advent we have been listening in church to voices in the wilderness, ancient texts that tell of the coming of a Messiah to save the world from all its troubles, a world king to establish a just and peaceful rule. Nobody expected a baby in a manger.

The Christmas story is full of unexpected gifts to treasure – the sweetness of hay, the radiance of the skies, the exotic perfume of strangers. Every Christmas has its moments, not all of them captured on camera. In all the turmoil and distress in the world around us this Christmas, there will be unexpected gifts for each one of us – if we choose to notice.

It is a gift for me this Christmas to see how beautifully people continue to make worship at St Peter’s in the absence of a vicar. I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to Christmas celebrations in so many ways.

As we look to the heavens for help this dark Christmas, let us notice the stars in the bright skies and remember there is a bigger picture. We are all held in time and space by a universal love that binds and heals, a love that is faithful for all time.

And let us give thanks to this God of surprises – for gifts from strangers, for revelations in the darkness and for Love than never ends.

Amen.

 

Altar painting close-up

 

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY with Holy Communion

Sunday 3 January 10am

 

CHRISTMAS OPEN CHURCH

 

Christmas Tree

 

You are welcome to enjoy this quiet place for private prayer & candle-lighting for loved ones separated by distance or death.

Wednesday 23 December 9-11am

Thursday 24 December 3-5pm

Saturday 26 December 3-5pm

Sunday 27 December 3-5pm

Wednesday 30 December 9-11am

Thursday 31 December 3-5pm

Friday 1 January 3-5pm

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