Confessions of a Clergy Mummy: my secret crush on St Nicholas

You would expect vicars to not be particularly fond of Father Christmas; the folklore of Santa and the gifts he brings is somewhat of a thief of the glory that should really belong to Jesus after all. However, St Nicholas is more than a rotund figure with a voluminous silver beard. Sa
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A Christmas letter

This post was first seen on 5inaboat.com in November 2014 Dear all, We have had a splendid year here, in our little parish! My husband has been very busy, in fact we have hardly seen him! Which is wonderful as we know that it is the Lord’s work that he is doing. Our six churches have
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Candle Five – Emmanuel

I struggle to tell the Christmas story. I struggle to put my finger on the point of the whole thing. It’s because it’s so deceptively easy to tell, made for children: all those shepherds and angels and donkeys and grumpy camels. But why? Why is this story, this baby, so important? Tha
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Candle Four: Mary

What’s your favourite story? Is it one that you’ve known since childhood, or one that you heard or read recently? I wonder – and even asking this may make me sound a little insane if you don’t, in fact, know what I’m talking about – have you ever imagined yourself inside t
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Candle Three: John the Baptist

The first two candles on the Advent wreath are for groups of people who prepared for the coming of the Messiah many years before Jesus was born. The next two are more specific, for two important characters who were right there on the scene preparing when Jesus arrived. The first of th
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Candle Two – the prophets

In storytelling to schools, it’s been difficult to come up with a straightforward definition of ‘prophet’, one that will work as a speedy introduction to a story about any of the prophets. Their lives, purposes and prophecies are all so very different, so what do they all have in comm
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Candle One – the beginning of God’s people

On Sunday 30th November, we lit the first candle on our Advent wreath, the one which stands for a group of people somewhat soberly referred to as the Patriarchs. They’re the ones that appear in the book of Genesis, which contains stories of beginnings: not just the beginning of the wo
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December – the Christmas you always wanted is called Advent

I’d like to invite you to dream a little. Of the Christmas you’d really like for you and your family. Shut out the clamour for a moment. The sound of the roaring current of panicky present buying, food planning, and relative pleasing. Ignore the peer pressure to give your kids an R
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Tales from the Jesse Tree – a Christmas countdown

Our family has a plethora of Advent traditions. Advent calendars, kindly given over the years by friends and relations, proliferate: one with pockets, some with doors, even one with a revolving nativity scene on top, into which a new tiny figure is added every day. They are displayed
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Prepare the Way: Candle 4, Mary

In the Advent wreath, a circle of people who prepared for the coming of the Messiah, the fourth candle belongs to Mary.  Her story suffers from over-familiarity.  It’s been told so many ways and she has been made to stand for so much, represented as anything and everything between a f
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