So here we go again – the slide into Christmas and all the good things that it can bring. I’m well aware that it can also bring added pressure on those who set out to make sure that it is a special time for family and friends, but my hope is that the appreciation by family and friends would bring a sense of joy, peace and fulfillment to those who put the effort in. Who knows, the appreciation may even spill over into doing the washing up after Christmas lunch.
Within the Christmas season we of course can’t escape the commercial importance to retailers and all the advertising that goes along with it. You may recall that at this time last year I wrote about the 2016 John Lewis Christmas TV advert and how bowled over I was about its creative brilliance. This year’s John Lewis advert has been eagerly anticipated in some quarters, with even an article in The Guardian on Friday 10 November informing its readers of the first viewing schedules later that day. In some ways the news item and interest surrounding the advert was taking on the dimensions of what we have seen in the launch events of such things as Apple iPhones and the like.
So, the 2017 John Lewis advert features Moz the Monster who sleeps under a youngster’s bed and, over period of time, a fun and loving relationship grows between the two. This culminates in a Christmas present from Moz to the youngster, unwrapped on Christmas Day with the tag line “For gifts that brighten their world.” As The Guardian article said – an advert designed to pull on the heart strings to loosen the purse strings. Continue reading
Whenever i sit down to write a church article for a magazine there is always the question as to other the content should be slanted towards the seasonal, topical or eternal. So having considered all that I’ve decided this month to write about Postman Pat, the BBC children’s TV series.
When our youngsters were small, Postman Pat was a regular favourite TV watching experience. My wife Pam and I would often sit and watch the programme with them, getting quite familiar with the characters of Pat and his faithful black and white sidekick Jess the cat (and even as I type away I find that in my head I’m singing along with “Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his Black and White Cat…”). They had such adventures trying to get the mail through to the outer lying areas of the village of Greendale, with early episode titles such as “Postman Pat’s Windy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Foggy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Difficult Day,” and “Postman Pat’s Tractor Express.” And then of course there were the other characters – Mrs Goggins the postmistress, Alf Thompson the farmer, Ted Glenn the handyman and the Reverend Timms.
I must admit I’ve lost track of all the adventures that Pat has had down the years, and I’m a little astonished to see that in 2016/17 the programme is now into its eighth series. It seems that the story lines might have progressed a little, as now there are episode titles such as “Postman Pat and the Zooming Zipwire.” There’s even one called “Postman Pat and the Cornish Caper” and another called “Postman Pat and the Loch Ness Monster.” Although I haven’t sat down to watch any of these episodes, it’s obvious that Pat’s mail delivery area and duties have been extended. Continue reading
– Keith Browne It is the season for Harvest Services in our Churches. By the time you read this many will have already been held – some will be yet to come. I have vivid memories of Harvest Festivals as a child.
I was brought up in West London in the 1950s. There was still an air of post-war austerity – with very few luxuries around. My mother took my brother and I along to a Baptist Church each Sunday. The church interior was an austere space with minimal ornamentation. There was almost no colour – the small illuminated red cross in the light above the pulpit being the only bright spot. The abiding impression is that the church, in general, was a solemn place. I can’t even remember whether there were any decorations at Christmas. I think that in later years there was a small Christmas tree placed on a platform above the side pews. Continue reading
Thanksgiving service for our animals
Celebrating God’s care and concern for creation
Sunday 24th September 10am
St Sampson’s Church, South Hill
This will be a short informal service followed by coffee, tea, juice and the best cake ever.
Our lives are enriched by our animals. They bring us many blessings and they play a big part in our lives, giving us joy, companionship, livelihood and sustenance.
You are invited to bring your well behaved: dog, cat, rabbit, parrot, stick insect, sheep, horse or chicken, whatever, to give thanks for the part they play in your life.
Bring a photo of your pet past or present.
Recently our church received a beautiful quilted banner from South Hill Piece Makers of St Sampson, the patron Saint of our Church, but who was he? Why is this church dedicated to him? We know a few things basis in historical fact.
Of all the so-called ‘Cornish’ saints, Sampson is the only one for whom there appears to be documentary evidence written at the time he was alive: there is a reference to a bishop, probably our St Sampson signing his name with other bishops who attended a church council in Paris in 562. Sampson also has the distinction of being the only ‘Cornish’ saint whose biography, was written less than 200 years after his death.
Sampson was the son of a noble family from South Wales, born in the early 500s. He was regarded as a miraculous child because he was born when his parents had long given up hope of having a child and was named after the Biblical Samson in the book of Judges. He was educated in a monastery at Llantwit Major where he eventually became ordained. Continue reading
St Sampson’s Church are contacting architects to draw up plans for our renovations and improvements to the building and we are also looking at many funding options.
Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be collecting free donations for St Sampson’s Church, South Hill?
There are over 3,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, the trainline and Tesco – it doesn’t cost you a penny extra
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…
1. Head to https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stsampsonschurch/ and join for free.
2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.
3. After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to your good cause for no extra cost whatsoever.
There are no catches or hidden charges and St Sampson’s Church, South Hill, Cornwall will be really grateful for your donations to help with the ongoing upkeep of this beautiful church.
Thank you for your support.
Thank you to all who have bought or donated plants . The monies raised will go to Callington food bank.
More plants now required .
If you have any spare plants please bring them to St Sampson’s Church and leave them outside the entrance. Buy something new for yourself and leave donations in the jar.
We are all shocked about the bombing in Manchester and although it may seem far away from our rural corner of Cornwall, some of us may have friends or relatives who are affected, or feel a deep need to respond in some way to the horror. St Sampson’s church is open and there is a prayer corner where you can spend some quiet time remembering the victims and their families and offering thanks for those involved in helping in the aftermath. The Bishop of Manchester states “in our grief we call on God to strengthen us to resist evil”.
For the next week there is an international prayer movement “Thy Kingdom Come”, which encourages people to pray for those searching for faith. Sometimes it is a shocking event which makes us question all sorts of things. The Church is open for you.