Preparations for Christmas 2016 at St James started as early as 24th October (yes!) when our Art Group decorated over 40 white wooden hearts to depict our Christmas theme of ‘Love came down’. These were added to by participants of the ‘Stir Up Saturday’ event in November, and later by the Pre-School children too. These hearts would be hung from the ceilings in Church, with no two hearts the same.
Our Guides company decorated our community Church Christmas tree with strings of stars containing their wishes, and paper chains.
Messy Church Christmas this year was held from 11am on the 2nd Sunday in December to which the regular congregation were invited, and to share lunch.
A week later the flower team decorated the Church in time for our candle lit Christmas Carol service, and whilst still in good voice the next evening, a group went carol singing around parts of the parish.
On the morning of Christmas Eve 28 people gave their time to preparing three hundred Christingles using 9kg of Dolly Mixtures for the two packed out Christingle services that afternoon. The Puppets appeared at both, as did some of the children.
The Church flowers and decorations were then swiftly reconfigured in time for the Midnight Communion service. The main floral display now depicted Christ coming down from Heaven with the Cross behind, through to the simplicity of a wooden manger. During Advent everyone had been invited to remember loved ones and write prayers onto paper hearts, all of which were prayed for, and then they became part of the main display.
All of our Christmas services were well attended, and thanks go to the Leaders and Preachers, Music Group and Choir, Catering Team and the many people in our Church and local community who were involved in the preparations.