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 Fairtrade shopping evening at St Martin in the Wood Church in Hiltingbury last Friday was successful and enjoyable. Many people attended and had an opportunity to buy a variety of high quality fairtrade products to support disadvantaged producers and workers in the developing world.
Fairtrade events encourage us to be ethical consumers and raise awareness of trade justice.
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
The Fairtrade Fashion Show took place last night (Friday 17th May 2019) at the St Martin in the Wood church in Hiltingbury.
Tricia Urquhart, with Heather Dibb and their local network have organised the Fairtrade Fashion Show in recent years. These events have been so successful, and they bring people together. [Read more…] about Eastleigh Mayor Attended the Fairtrade Fashion Show in Chandler’s Ford – 17 May 2019
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?
I felt privileged to help with the fantastic Fairtrade evening at St Martin’s on 2 November.
Items for sale included crafts from Leprosy Mission, Eastleigh’s Shop Equality (my husband couldn’t resist buying a baby wooden duck to go with his collection), fairly traded clothing from Nomad, beautiful jewellery made high in the hills in Guatemala and a huge Traidcraft stall. [Read more…] about Review: Fairtrade Evening in Chandler’s Ford 2018
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
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?
I attended the Fairtrade Fashion Show last Friday at St. Martin in the Wood Church in Hiltingbury. It was a fun and relaxed fashion show, with lots of Fairtrade items for sale.
Fairtrade Fashion Show was organised by local fairtraders, Tricia Urquhart, and Heather Dibb (minus one arm). [Read more…] about Highlights of Fairtrade Fashion Show at St. Martin in the Wood Church: May 2017
In a few days Christians all over the world will celebrate Easter. Already the shops are full of a variety of Easter cards, many of which are decorated with beautiful pictures of eggs, bunnies, churches and spring flowers. I offer you instead this lovely photograph of St Martin in the Woods with its lovely Daffodils in the church garden. [Read more…] about Easter Message 2017 by Reverend Christine Whitehead
I attended the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in St. Boniface (CofE) Church this evening. The church was packed. Superbly directed by Dr. Hugh Benham, the carol service certainly defines Christmas musically for Chandler’s Ford.
(If you missed the carol service this year, try not to miss it next year. Trust me, you won’t regret it.) [Read more…] about Review: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Boniface Church 2016
So, as the old saying goes, “Christmas is upon us and the goose is getting fat” and, to stay in Dickensian vogue, “Bah, Humbug!” Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest! Seriously, I do find Christmas hugely stressful and have often wished that it would simply go away.
As a Clergyman I find that it is a time of high workload, with many additional pressures (as is also the case for so many in the retail trades). [Read more…] about Some Christmas Thoughts
At 6.30 pm on Sunday 27 November 2016, St. Boniface Church Choir will be leading a special service of music and readings for Advent Sunday.
Advent Sunday is the first Sunday in the church’s year, and the beginning of the lead-up to Christmas. [Read more…] about Advent Sunday at St Boniface Church: Sunday 27 November 2016
Sri Lanka reveals itself more interesting the longer one stays here. We are back here in Kandy to study snake bites and Brenda is teaching and working to improve the library at a poor school.
I decided to research some of the improvements in the country since Independence in 1948 and got involved with some historians. The idea is to link events around the first road ever built in Sri Lanka, their A1 from Colombo to Kandy. Near the start of the road is the temple of Kelaniya. [Read more…] about Buddhist Rituals
November is a month of remembrance.
Remembrance services will be taking place throughout the Borough of Eastleigh on Sunday 13 November 2016.
The Royal British Legion calls on the nation to unite in commemorating Remembrance Sunday at the 2016 Cenotaph Service and Parade in Whitehall on 13 November.
[Read more…] about Remembrance and Thanksgiving