The birth of Jesus was the beginning of family life for Mary, Joseph and their new son. Mary’s pregnancy had not been normal by anyone’s standards, starting with the conception from the Holy Spirit, announced by the angel Gabriel. The gospels do not go into detail but we can guess how difficult it must have been for Mary to explain this to her parents as well as her intended, Joseph. There will have been gossip and funny looks in the market place, I am sure, as her pregnancy became more obvious. So, not easy for a young girl. Luckily, Joseph was guided by an angel not to divorce her but to support her. Then there was the journey to Bethlehem, for Joseph to register in the census, and the lack of accommodation there that meant that the new Messiah was born in a lowly stable.
This story is familiar to us all, as each Christmas we hear the Bible passages and sing the words in our carols. And, of course, it is illustrated on the Christmas cards we send and receive, the Advent calendars, and the decorations in our homes and our towns. So familiar are these images that it is too easy for us to become hardened to them and not to look at them afresh to read what they really tell us.
The new little family – the Holy Family – was unique. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was chosen by God to carry and give birth to his son. As any mother does, she nurtured him, watched as he grew up, guided him, then stepped back as he set out on his ministry. Later, she had to watch and live through his violent death. Mary is now venerated as the model of all mothers and holds a special place in many Christians’ hearts.
The joint charities Christmas Market in Chandler’s Ford last weekend didn’t disappoint. The market is now in its 46th year, but the passion never seems to fade over time. You see the same people running the market, and you see familiar faces supporting their chosen charities and informing people about the work that they do, and why they need your donation and support. More and more visitors come to the market each year as the market is such a beautiful Chandler’s Ford Christmas tradition.
I like the warmth and friendliness of the market so much that I go there each year to see old friends, and meet friends for coffee at Dovetail Café afterwards. It’s the sort of market where you have no chance of breaking the bank, and you can buy affordable thoughtful little gifts, stocking fillers, some nice pens and notebooks, little torches, storybooks, toys, and some really good quality Christmas cards.
The market this year was opened by former Eastleigh Mayor Councillor Jane Welsh. The Joint Charities Annual Christmas Market was held at the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church Hall. These were the charities that took part.
Yesterday evening the Chandler’s Ford Today household had the following conversation:
Man: “Someone has just dropped this Harvest Festival thing for you.”
Woman: “Oh, who’s that?” “Perhaps someone is delivering the leaflets to the whole neighbourhood, not just for me?”
Man: “Don’t know.” “I think it’s just for you.” [Read more…] about Harvest Festival: Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church Sunday 29th September 2019
A date for your diary!
Free entrance. Pay what you decide donation. From 3-5 pm there will be a pop-up choir session for anyone who would like to learn the songs (with the option but no obligation to sing along at the concert!) [Read more…] about Stories of Sanctuary – Saturday 9th November 7.30 pm Performing at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church
An Organ Scholar is needed at St Boniface CofE Church, Hursley Road, in Chandler’s Ford.
Can you play a keyboard instrument to Grade 4 or above?
You could be eligible to have some organ lessons and to play organ in some services. [Read more…] about Organ Scholar Needed at St Boniface CofE Church
This is a community website about Chandler’s Ford, but today we’re going to touch upon the war, knitted scarves, Clementine Churchill, and the Russians – all in this short article. So please read on.
Last week we published an article about Audrey Steele, who at the age of 90 has recently been awarded the Citizen of Honour for the Borough of Eastleigh. [Read more…] about Audrey Steele Received Recognition from Clementine Churchill in 1942
I’m delighted to have met 90-year-old Audrey Steele recently. Audrey Steele was awarded the Citizen of Honour for the Borough of Eastleigh early this month.
Audrey has recently celebrated her 90th birthday. This award recognises the voluntary work she has done for the people in Eastleigh Borough and Brazil. [Read more…] about Meet 90-year-old Audrey Steele – Eastleigh Citizen of Honour
Christmas is almost here. This afternoon BBC Radio Solent was recording the annual Christmas carol concert at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church. This festive event was hosted by Tim Daykin, and it also featured the Otterbourne Brass Band.
The church was packed with 400 people this afternoon. Were you one of the 400 people there as well? If so, please kindly share your experience with us. [Read more…] about BBC Radio Solent: Christmas Carol Concert at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church
We are fortunate to have so many concerts, craft fairs, and advent events in and around Chandler’s Ford at Christmas time.
Here are some events that we’ve found and shared. If you know of more events, do let us know so that we could share them with the Chandler’s Ford community.
This article is written by David Gurr, of St Francis Church, on behalf of Chandler’s Ford Churches Together (CFCT). You can find Church Services in Chandler’s Ford for Christmas 2018 on the CFCT page.
As Christmas approaches there is often a debate in our communities about the place of religion and faith amidst all the presents and feasting. Central stage for Christians is the birth of Jesus into a family with Mary and Joseph. Also central stage is the conversation piece of “are the family coming for Christmas?” or “are you going to the family?” [Read more…] about Christmas – A Time for Families?
As the government is in Brexit turmoil (‘near Civil War’, according to the BBC), we’re bringing you some stability here from Chandler’s Ford for a change.
The annual Chandler’s Ford Joint Charities Christmas Market brings the sort of stability, unity, and friendship that we all need at times of crisis. Last weekend I went to the market, as I had done so for many years, and felt warmth, joy, and a genuine sense of hope for the future. [Read more…] about Review: Chandler’s Ford Joint Charities 45th Christmas Market 2018
CAFOD stands for the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development. It is the Catholic international development charity in England and Wales.
In Chandler’s Ford, for almost 30 years, Clare, Cecily, Gill and their CAFOD group from St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandler’s Ford have been hosting simple soup suppers to raise money for CAFOD. In total, they’ve raised over £18,500 for the Fast Day appeals. [Read more…] about 30 Years of Soup with CAFOD at St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandler’s Ford
A while back, the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church was busy collecting signatures of people in the Church and its community. Visitors to carol services, customers in the Dovetail Café, and all the groups who use the premises were being invited to sign in charcoal or chalk on special paper.
These names have now been turned into a work of art by an artist, Rev David Hollingsworth, who is skilled at community works of art. [Read more…] about Dovetail Art Project with Revd David Hollingsworth
Congratulations to Caroline Husain from Chandler’s Ford, who has been named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018.
Caroline has been recognised for decades of ‘services to charity and the community in Chandlers Ford’ with a BEM (The British Empire Medal). [Read more…] about Congratulations! It’s a BEM for Caroline Husain from Chandler’s Ford
Last night I attended the Candlelit Carol Service at Eastleigh Baptist Church. My friends have recently joined the church and sang at the choir, so I went there for support and friendship.
The service was absolutely brilliant, uplifting, and enjoyable. It was beautifully intertwined with poetry, drama, and songs. There was a choir made up of adults and children, a top-class 4-people band, a modern drama (family got stuck on M25; a sulky teenager; train being late), a classical play (with costumes; tea-towel-headed shepherds that sort of thing), and Spoken Word. The Spoken Word was beautifully written: short passages in rhymes, and the narrators were passionate with their narration. To top that, both screens highlighted the keywords being read, so the visual impact was very powerful. [Read more…] about Beautiful Christmas Church Services 2017. How’s your Christmas Day?
This morning I attended the church service at the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church.
The service was led by Rev Dr Howard Mellor. He is a great speaker and his speech was full of humour. He started off showing a blue and white t-shirt representing Huddersfield Town, as he told us he watched the match yesterday and he showed his support for the blue and white team!
I don’t know anything about football, but his introduction using football seemed very well received. [Read more…] about Christmas in Chandler’s Ford 2017
Church Services for Christmas 2017 in Chandler’s Ford. From Churches Together Chandler’s Ford. [Read more…] about Church Services: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Chandler’s Ford 2017
QuizAid in Saint Martin’s Church on Saturday, 11 November 2017, by Brian Ridsdale
Quiz participants at Saint Martin’s Church, Chandler’s Ford cheered to hear that the UK Government will double the money they raised for Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal. On Saturday 11th November, 120 guests participated in a quiz with ploughman’s supper at St Martin’s Church. [Read more…] about Quiz Doubles Money for Christian Aid
I was walking along Park Road in Chandler’s Ford earlier in November and overheard a conversation between a mother and her son she’d just picked up from school. The mother told the son that they would put up their Christmas tree that evening. It was another example for me – along with the constant Christmas TV adverts, the endless playing of Christmas music and the Christmas goods in the shops and the Christmas decorations that are pretty much everywhere – that the Christmas festivities seem to start earlier and earlier each year! [Read more…] about Christmas – What’s So Special?