Christmas Issue 2016
David’s this Advent we’ve been doing meditations based
on a book by Paula Gooder, The Meaning is in the
Waiting. I have also used this as the basis for my two
Advent sermons at St John’s.
idea Paula puts forward is that of God’s salvation
snowball! Modern, western twenty-first century
historians regard history as linear - with the big bang
at one end, everything disappearing into nothingness at
the end and all sorts of meaningless things happening in
between, including us. I might have overstated it a bit
there but that’s pretty much it. Not very encouraging,
the Biblical view of history is very different. It is
not so much linear as cyclical. The Bible looks at
history, the present and even the future too as all part
of one thing, God’s great creative, saving and
Imagine making a snowball at the top of a hill and then
pushing it to make it start rolling down. As the
snowball descends it rolls round and round, picking up
more and more snow as it goes. It is still the same
snowball but it gets larger and larger.
Biblical salvation history is a bit like this. God’s
interventions in the world, though individual events,
are all similar and all part of the one thing. Each time
God intervenes in the world in an act of creation or
salvation, the salvation snowball picks up another
resonance or expression, expressions that the prophet or
psalmist of the Old Testament can in all honesty use as
descriptions not only of past but also of current or
even future events.
also why, if you look at a good Bible translation, you
will see loads of Old Testament references in the
gospels, coming from Jesus’ mouth or from the writing of
the gospel and letter authors. These people are simply
standing in the same line as the Old Testament writers,
seeing Jesus’ presence on earth as one more example of
God’s intervention in the world, in this case the top
intervention ever, God himself coming as a human to be
one of us.
is why it is relevant and possible in Advent to wait for
the past. Though the snowball of salvation picked up the
biggest ever lump of snow when Jesus came to earth, that
was not the end. It still rolls on through all time,
through our times, the time of the Spirit, the end
times. Salvation history continues today. We are one of
the bits of snow it has picked up and is taking on into
the future. How tremendous is that?! We matter. We are
part of something big, really big, that will not find
final fulfilment until the end of the age.
live in the in between times, the time between the
beginning of the end and the end of the end. We can have
a vision of the kingdom based world that God yearns and
works for but we cannot bring it about in full. Yet we
can catch a glimpse of what that world will be like when
we experience true Spirit-filled love, direct as a
revelation from God or from an encounter with nature or
with another person. But we need the eyes to recognize
these glimpses when they happen.
the reasons for telling and retelling salvation history
and the promised future of the new world order of the
kingdom is so that we will recognize it when we see it.
The salvation snowball tells us that our God is the kind
of God who breaks into our world – creating, liberating,
healing, saving, restoring and renewing. He has done it
in the past, he will do it again in the future, and he
is doing it right here and now if we only have eyes to
recognize it happening. And we are part of it. It’s
you enjoy your Advent waiting this year and that your
Christmas is filled with the joy of knowing Jesus, God’s
most decisive saving intervention in all of history.
would think that what was needed
transform and save the earth
not be a plan or army
in purpose, proved in worth?
would think, despite derision,
child might lead the way?
surprises earth with heaven,
here on Christmas Day.
(John L. Bell, Singing
the Faith 222)
Rev Bev, Minister St
David’s and St John’s
Worth the Wait...
Our elder daughter was due on
St George’s Day, 23 April (she’s now 45). Those were the
days when you couldn’t know whether the new arrival would be
a boy or a girl - white and lemon were very popular
pre-birth layette colours! Like most expectant mothers I was
ready for the nine-month wait to come to an end so I happily
volunteered to distribute NCH envelopes (National Children’s
Homes, as it then was) on our estate. Maybe the extra
exercise would hurry baby up.
Well, it worked! In the early
hours of 20 April I woke to some unfamiliar sensations
pulsing spasmodically and I was soon on my way to the
maternity home (yes, they really were an NHS reality in
1971!) No assistance from fathers was required or expected,
so the soon-to-be-dad returned home to await further news.
Helen Ruth arrived very
conveniently shortly before evening visiting time. We’d
already chosen names for both boy (David) and girl, breaking
with tradition by choosing names we liked rather than ones
with family associations.
Mary’s journey from Nazareth
to Bethlehem was a little more taxing than my expedition
round our housing estate! No wonder baby arrived shortly
after her uncomfortable journey. I often wonder what Mary
took in case the baby arrived whilst they were away from
home. Were the cloths that were wrapped around him in the
There was no need for
discussion about the baby’s name in the Bethlehem shelter.
Like ours, the name had been pre-chosen - although the
naming process had been a little different… When mother and
baby returned home in 1971 there was great excitement, joy
and cooing over the baby girl, a first grandchild for both
It had been worth the
Elizabeth Pass, St David’s
The Refugees Return
As many of you will know, the Methodist
Modern Art Collection came to St John’s earlier this year as
part of our 150th anniversary celebrations. Though not the
Collection, the Trustee assigned to us, Bob Williams,
suggested another piece to join the exhibition. He lives in
Bath and was aware of local artist, Caroline Waterlow, and
her piece “The Refugees.” So we brought it up to Llandudno
and it proved to be one of the most popular pieces in the
exhibition. It turned our that the painting was for sale and
several in St John’s said that the church should buy it,
though no one actually brought it forward as a formal
proposal. And so, the painting went down to Bath Abbey for
But on Advent Sunday this year, the painting
was back on the wall at St John’s, where it belongs! Bath
Abbey had wanted to purchase it but it was too late. Someone
up here had bought the painting and it will stay in St
John’s for as long as they do! So we should have plenty of
opportunity to ponder its message over the years to come.
The artist, Caroline Waterlow, was there to
comment on how the work and on how she felt about it now
living at St John’s.
It was a newspaper snippet that first led her
to make her first Christian image. It said that there was a
threat that all Christian images were going to be banned
from Christmas cards. That was enough to get her started.
She had been brought up a Roman Catholic so her childhood
was steeped in Christian imagery. She decided to make her
own nativity scene complete with Jesus, Mary, ox, ass,
shepherds and Joseph in the background somewhere.
“The Refugees” was therefore not the first
Christmas related picture. Indeed, it is not really a
Christmas picture as it is about the flight of the family to
Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous intent.
When they (the Magi) had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared
to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and
his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you,
for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
These few words are all we are told about the
family’s escape to Egypt, and yet the flight into Egypt has
become the subject of the work of many artists. It seems to
resonate as a theme. And as Caroline worked on her own
version of this story, it occurred to her that the trauma of
displacement from one’s own country is not a new phenomena.
It has happened throughout the history of humankind, and the
holy family would suffer just as much as any other family,
fleeing persecution in their own country and looking to find
refuge elsewhere. Caroline created her work and chose the
title over ten years ago, little realizing just how poignant
a subject it would be the world today with regular news
items about refugees from Syria and Northern Africa and
their flight across Europe in desperate search of somewhere
So as we look at Caroline’s picture each time
we walk into St John’s we are reminded to remember those,
like Jesus himself, who are homeless and running to find
safety far from home.
Rev Bev, Minister St John’s
A Prayer for Refugees
Just as your Son was once a refugee,
fleeing the violence of a tyrant,
we pray for refugees today.
they be protected when they journey
they be welcomed when they arrive,
may they discover the hope found in Jesus
their weeping turns to joy. Amen
Contribution from Arline Griffiths, St
John’s. Taken from her Advent devotional notes written by
A Politically Correct Christmas Poem by Author Unknown
T'was the night before
Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves".
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labour conditions at the North Pole
were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid
Were replaced with four pigs, and you know, that
The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by Health & Safety.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises up on their rooftops.
Smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorised use of his nose
And had gone on TV, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd never had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim, nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, dishevelled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
May you and your loved ones, enjoy peace on Earth.
Suggested by Helen Cooper, as
seen in Berkswich Methodist Church magazine.
Joseph’s Secret Diary
We do not know for certain
the date that Jesus was born but we celebrate his birth on
December 25th. The gospel writers each have a different
focus on who Jesus was. Mark and John don’t mention the
actual birth. Luke tells us about the shepherds and Matthew
recounts the visit of the wise men and tells us a bit more
about Joseph and these are slightly irreverent entries in
December 21st 1BC
Left Nazareth after a rather hurried breakfast couldn’t face
another lecture from the ante-natal brigade about the
dangers of travel when pregnant so I just packed the donkey
and insisted that we clear off before further objections
could be raised. So of course the wife’s been in a bad mood
all day — as if it’s my fault that the Romans have decided
to call a census right slap bang in the middle of the
festive season, that’s the Romans for you, I told her, no
December 22nd 1 BC
Another day’s journey and I’ve had it up to here with the
wretched traffic. All roads to Bethlehem are chocker, you
can’t move for donkeys, camels and such. Incidentally the
wife says I had “better have some decent accommodation up my
sleeve when we get there or there’ll be trouble.” This, I
suspect, could be a problem...
December 24th BC
Total disaster! All the inns are full. Not a room to be had
in the whole of Bethlehem. Of course, it’s all my fault and
if I’d planned ahead like everyone else none of the would
have happened. Could have pointed out that “planning ahead”
didn’t usually take in “surprise” children. Traipsed around
the town most of the day before it became clear that the
only place available was this stable. Not ideal. Anyway it’s
fairly quiet now apart from a bit of unnecessary lowing from
the cattle in the corner. Tomorrow is going to be a busy
day.. I’ll be a happy man if we can register early, set off
home and make it back to Nazareth before the nipper makes
December 25th 1 BC
Panic stations! Panic stations! Looks like the Saviour of
the World is going to be born in this stable right now and
its all my fault for not booking ahead! Let’s just hope its
a boy or there’ll be embarrassment all round.
December 25th 1 BC Later
Well, it is a boy! Bright little fellow with an angelic
face. We know he’s got to be called Jesus on strict orders
from the Angel of the Lord but I fancied the name Clive.
Handled the birth myself — not bad for a carpenter.
Delivering a baby for the 1st time is not easy in any
circumstances but when he’s to be the Saviour of the World
the pressure can get to you.
December 27th 1BC
Shepherds hundreds of them. You can’t sit down in here for
shepherds and we’re up to our ears in woolly jumpers. One of
them, Dave, told me that they were just watching their
flocks by night when suddenly, out of the darkness, a chorus
of angels descended and began singing in their ears, urging
them to come and visit The Baby Jesus. I haven’t had a
chance to get out but apparently there’s a big star hovering
directly above us. Wonderful.
December 28th 1BC
This has got to come to an end. The wife’s tired, I’m on my
last legs and there’s limit to how many shepherds you can
talk to in one day.
December 30th 1BC
Dave dropped by with some more supplies and took me aside
for a quiet word. “So you’re not the father then mate?” he
says, straight in my face. “Not strictly” I reply, cagey
like. “Some of the lads are a bit puzzled as to how it all
came about,” he went on. This is going to run and run...
January 1st year O
Something funny going on with the calendar.
January 3rd year O
Dave’s been back to say there are some wise men in town
looking for us. They’ve been to see Herod who is not too
pleased about a Saviour being born on his patch. We’ll have
to lie low.
January 6th year O
Sitting quietly this evening when there’s a knock on the
door. I was just about to hide Jesus when a voice came
through a crack in the door. “Hello, it ‘s Meichior here
with some mates and we’ve got some presents for the Baby,
Please let us in, we’ve come many miles to see him,
following a star.”
So in came Caspar, Balthazaar
and Meichior with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
When they had gone we went to
sleep but I was woken by a dream. Seemingly Herod is on the
war path and we need to make ourselves scarce.
So that’s it then. We’re
going to make a break for it under cover of darkness. Egypt
should be safe. We’ll go there. Time to pack the donkey
Now, how many woolly jumpers
will we need in Egypt and is there room for the ‘wise men’s
Hope Jesus stays nice and
quiet - he’s been good so far. Come on Mary, time to go.
Contributed by Frances
Williams, St David’s, from an idea by Edward Docx
A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Enthusiastic Christians on two continents
desire to spread the Good News of Jesus
desire to improve the living conditions of local communities
Mix together and what do you get?
developing partnership between folk who, in many ways, have
little in common apart from their faith.
So, what’s this all about?
Last year Kathryn Mann from St David’s went to Tanzania
(where she was born) to help in a school as part of a
mission partnership established between the Anglican
Dioceses of South West Tanganyika in Tanzania and St Asaph
in Wales (Tanzania being a poor country and Wales, in
comparison, a rich one). What Kathryn told us when she came
back enthused St David’s folk enough to pray about the
possibility of linking up with the work over there and,
after much prayer, we decided to link up with Mafinga Parish
Church in Tanzania.
This “partnership” was launched at a Sunday morning service
in March when a retiring offering raised £187 and in June we
took part in Craig y Don’s Open Gardens Day which raised a
further £123. This money was then sent to Tanzania as a
contribution towards the building of a new church in
Kinyanambo, a small village which forms part of the Mafinga
Parish have since come up with a very ambitious plan to
start a chicken poultry business to both provide income for
the church’s outreach activities and, at the same time, much
needed employment for local youths. To set this off they
need to buy 300 chickens at a cost of £900 and this has
really caught the enthusiasm of St David’s congregation.
part of our Harvest celebrations in October the Rydal
Penrhos Jazz Band put on a concert for us which raised £475
and donations made during and since our Harvest lunch
totalled £275, enabling us to send £750 over for this
project. Many of our congregation have taken home “chicken
boxes” as temporary “piggy banks”, to be returned at our
All-Age Nativity Service in December when we hope to send
our partners a Christmas present at least sufficient to
provide the balance of chickens they initially require.
They are working very hard themselves to promote this
project, the total cost of which is expected to be about
£2,100 (as well as chickens timber for huts, iron sheets,
nails, stock feeds, chemicals/chicken medicines, feeding
equipment and fowl runs are required). It is a commercial
project being set up on ethical and environmentally friendly
lines and in due course will also provide the means for poor
families to better support themselves.
Mafinga is a small town and Mafinga Parish Church, although
quite poor itself, supports four small village churches in
their locality, sending, for example, much needed clothes
and shoes to one of them where the people are particularly
poor. They also have plans to open a Christian bookshop and
to develop a youth training programme. Their vision and
faith seems to know no bounds.
Parish, unusually for Tanzania, has access to email which
means we can keep in touch with each other and we regularly
exchange details and photos of our churches’ activities and
plans etc. (they have recently
sent us a note of the
favourite hymns and bible passages of some of their
congregation, including those of a 12 year old boy who was
confirmed in September).
They are so grateful for our support, not just financially
but also spiritually, and so keen too to encourage us in our
faith and work. This is proving to be of real mutual
benefit and, to us at St David’s, a real blessing and
challenge as well.
St David’s Tanzania Mission Team (Kathryn
Mann, Elizabeth Pass,
Jodie James & Jack Waddington)
After 1 Corinthians 13
If bake a Christmas cake and
dozens of mince pies, but have not love, I am just another
If I decorate my house with
outdoor fairy lights and a twinkling Christmas tree, but
have not love, I am just wasting electricity for no reason.
If I write a hundred
Christmas cards and stick a news letter in each one, but
have not love, I only gain writer’s cramp.
Love stops baking to phone a
friend in need.
Love stops decorating to hug
Love stops shopping to visit
a lonely neighbour.
Love does not envy the colour co-ordinated Christmas
decorations in another’s house, nor the neatly wrapped
presents under a neighbour’s tree.
Love does not write vain
Christmas letters boasting of this year’s achievements.
Love does not just send cards
to those who will send one back.
Love does not only buy
presents for those who can return the favour.
Love does not work out how
much a friend will spend on your gift and then seek to spend
not a penny more.
Love knows the joy of giving
without counting the cost.
Love is patient when faced
with a queue at the post office and smiles at those sharing
Love does not get angry and
shout at the kids to stay out of the way, it keeps no record
Love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Computer
games break, chocolates soon vanish,
Christmas trees drop their
needles, but the gift of LOVE endures for ever.
Love is not just for
Christmas, it lasts the whole year through.
Christ is not just for
Christmas, he wants to stay with you for ever.
Judith Merrell, from
published by TLM Trading Ltd.
for the Leprosy Mission.
Contribution suggested by
Madge Small, St John’s
Friday, October 22nd, Chris and I drove down to High Leigh
Conference Centre in Hertfordshire. The trees were
resplendent in their autumn tints and we were both looking
forward to our annual residential weekend with Artserve.
Artserve grew out of the Methodist Music Society and now is
an ecumenical movement, encouraging all forms of art within
the context of worship.
Last year, we had been challenged and taken out of our
comfort zone by a weekend of using unscripted drama to bring
Bible Stories to life. This year, the weekend was led by an
Anglican priest, Philip Roderick, founder of the Quiet
Garden Movement and Contemplative Fire. The weekend was
entitled “The Rhythms of Life,” and we were encouraged to
look for God in sound and stillness, movement and meaning.
weekend was certainly not as hectic or physically tiring as
last year, but still challenged us all to think outside the
box in our perspective of worship and spirituality.
session encouraged us to use simple movements as a way of
coming into God’s presence. We were invited to raise our
arms above our heads and then bring our hands slowly down
our heads and bodies, not quite touching, and imagining
being showered with love and grace. Once our hands had
reached the lowest point, we held our palms upwards to
receive God’s love.
favourite movement was sharing the peace with each other. We
stood in a circle with one hand on our neighbours’ shoulder
and the other hand reaching into the circle to receive God’s
blessing, which was passed on to our neighbour through us.
The weather throughout the weekend was
glorious, and so, on the Saturday morning, Philip suggested
we spend some time in the garden. He asked us to wander
around until we were drawn to something in particular and
spend time allowing God to speak to us through the natural
world. I spotted an oak tree in all its autumnal glory,
which reminded me of the majesty of God and also of His
faithfulness, as the tree had been standing in that place
for many years.
I looked closer under the tree, squirrels were busily
collecting nuts. I stood in the quietness, and was reminded
of the constant busyness of humanity, but it was all
happening under the canopy of God’s love. I walked over to
have a closer look, and there, just outside the circle of
the tree, which had represented God’s love, was a pile of
feathers, obviously the result of a skirmish.
Throughout the weekend, Philip introduced us to simple
chants using a cantor to lead the music and encouraging us
to move our bodies in response to the words. As a gathering
prayer to our main act of worship on the Sunday afternoon,
we sang a Gregorian chant and were invited to join the line
of people making a spiral shape as we walked round passing
each other and adding our own harmonies to the chant.
was again a privilege to have the experience of different
ways of worshipping, using art in all its different creative
forms. We look forward to the next weekend at Swanwick, in
Derbyshire, in October 2017.
Helen Cooper, St David’s
A True Story
used to live in Cheshire there was a field opposite
my house. One day two horses were there. I went over
to say hello and take some carrots. I noticed that
one of the horses was elderly and blind, the other
strong and healthy. He had a bell around his neck.
Seemingly the famer had chosen to make the old
horse’s last years as happy as possible. The bell
was to let the blind horse know where his young
friend was so that he could follow. As I watched I
noticed that the young horse was always looking out
for the older one so that he didn’t get too far
away. When he heard the bell he would walk
slowly over to his young friend, trusting he
wouldn't lead him astray. And in the evening the
young horse would lead his blind friend back to the
warm shelter of the barn.
owner of these horses, God does not throw us away
just because we are not perfect or have problems and
challenges. Rather, he watches over us and even
brings others into out lives to help us. Sometimes
we are like the blind horse needing to be guided by
the bell of those who God has placed in our lives.
At other times we are the guide horse, offered the
opportunity to help others to find their way.
Peggy Goff, St John’s
ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TIPS
Christmas is a special time for caring. Here are some
tips to help you enjoy Christmas without spoiling the
*More than five million Christmas trees are bought each year
in the UK.
Choose FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified trees,
wrapping paper and greetings cards, supporting the
sustainable management of our forests. Alternatively, use a
house plant as your ‘Christmas tree’, use newspaper to wrap
presents adding colourful fastenings, send E-cards.
*Forage for nature’s decorations, instead of buying
decorations, but remember not to take too much foliage off
one plant as it provides shelter for birds and other
animals. Weave tendrils of ivy with baubles, use pine cones.
you have not already bought them at the Autumn Fair, make
your own cards and presents (making them out of recycled
material - yoghurt pots for bird feeders), or buy them from
charity shops (they have a wide range and you might find
some unusual ideas at reduced price). Buy Fairtrade
Pledge to do something nice - ‘Free Christmas Gift Cheques’
are a lovely way of making your time the thing that counts.
There are many, many life-changing charity gifts;
Extraordinary Gifts - All we can (Methodist Relief and
Development), Good Gifts, Oxfam Unwrapped (which has one of
the most novel I have seen, ‘pile of poo, ‘not the kind of
smellies you were expecting’’!!).
*Save energy; turn off the TV or games console and play
board games together, read a book, go for a walk. For every
degree you turn down your thermostat, you will save on your
heating bill and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
energy-saving LED fairy lights, put them on a timer.
*Choose free range, organic poultry; not those reared
intensively in huge, windowless sheds holding up to 2,500
birds each who have been genetically selected to grow as
fast as possible and are fed antibiotics. Or, go meat free.
Support local traders and farmers, support Fairtrade. Use up
all your leftovers.
*Recycle your tree, cards and wrapping paper
after Christmas. Take the cards to a Woodland Trust
recycling point as this will benefit the Woodland Trust.
*Make it one of your New Year resolutions to be kinder to
the planet. Find out how big your carbon footprint is with
an online calculator e.g. wwf.org.uk/footprint which will
also give tips on how to reduce your footprint.
Have a Peaceful, Joyous, Eco-Friendly Christmas and 2017.
Mary Jones, St John’s
Take the Eurotrain
When you are thinking Summer Holidays in Europe during the
long, Christmas weekend, do consider jettisoning the plane
for the Eurostar.
most important reason for doing so is that travelling by
train causes far less damage to the environment than flying,
but there are other factors to consider too.
Gone is the trek to the airport and the boring and
irritating wait in the long gap after check-in. Admittedly,
there is the train journey down to Euston followed by a
gentle, 20 minute stroll to St. Pancras pulling your case
on wheels, but it is a far more restful and less stressful
method of travel and the now extended check-in time of 30
minutes(!) means you are soon on your way again. Then there
are the financial implications: book early and you can pick
up some very cheap fare.
My personal experience is of travelling to
Germany via Brussels. Buy a "stations in Belgium" ticket
and you can do just that: continue your onward journey
within Belgium on the day of travel without further cost.
On my Eurostar ticket
travel to Eupen on the border with Germany, which happens to
be 15 km from my daughter-in-law's flat in Aachen, and
return the reverse way, again at no extra cost. The year
David and I decided to go to Bruges for a few days before
going to Germany, we also discovered that, being over 65, we
could then travel the width of Belgium to Eupen for 4 euros
each. This was about 10 years ago, mind you, so no doubt it
is dearer now, but it could well be worth exploring.
what happens, you might ask, when the inevitable delays
occur? Automatic compensation! On one occasion, when we
were not allowed into the tunnel because the
air-conditioning failed just as we reached it, we were taken
back to Ebbfleet where we were offered over-night
accommodation in either Ebbfleet or London (this was
mid-afternoon) with onward travel the next day or, if the
delay lasted beyond 5pm, to be taken by coach to the airport
to catch the 7pm plane to Brussels. As it happened, we were
given the all clear at just about 5pm and reboarded the
train where we were told we would receive a full refund for
that leg of the journey and advised which office to go to in
Brussels to rearrange our onward travel. As the last train
for Eupen had left, we were allowed to travel on the Thalis
express to Aachen without even having to pay the express
there we are - comfortable travel which is environmentally
sound, financially advantageous and delivered with
consideration. What's not to like?
Arline Griffiths, St John’s
of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units
manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious
defect in the primary and central component of the heart.
This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units
code-named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of
the same defect in all subsequent units.
defect has been identified as
“Subsequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known
Some of the symptoms include:
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or
6. Depression or confusion
The Manufacturer, who is
neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing
factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to
correct this defect. The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most
generously offered to bear the entire burden of the
staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee
required. As an added upgrade, the Manufacturer has made
available to all repaired units a facility enabling direct
monitoring and assistance from a resident Maintenance
Technician, the Holy Spirit.
The number to call for repair
in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload
your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next,
download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into
the heart component.
how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it
9. Self control
the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Best Instructions
Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of
to operate the human being unit without the necessary
correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the
unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will
result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For
free emergency service, call on Jesus.
being units not responding to this recall action will have
to be scrapped. The SIN defect cannot be permitted to
contaminate the Manufacturer’s facility at HQ, heaven.
Thank you for your attention!
Please assist wherever possible by notifying others of this
important recall notice.
contact the Manufacturer at any time by ‘Knee mail.’
Article suggested by Meriel
Dobinson, St David’s
St David’s Pastoral News
Once again it is the start of Advent with
only 4 weeks until Christmas which this year is on a
Sunday. So the countdown begins with shopping, Christmas
Concerts, writing cards and many other activities to fit in.
I am sure this resonates with many who read this newsletter.
We must not forget that it is a time of
waiting and expecting the birth of Jesus who changed the
world as a baby and which we celebrate today as we
prepare for his coming on Christmas Day. May we all find
time in our busy preparations to have a moment of reflection
and to find Jesus in our day to day lives and may we be
filled with Joy at his coming.
Joy to the world the Lord is come.
earth receive her King
We remember those who need our thoughts and
prayers at this time as some have been in hospital, others
have been receiving treatment and we hold them all in prayer
at this time. We remember friends and family of those who
have died in recent months: Kath Pyrah, Wilma Wright and
Nick Sisson’s father.
We at St David' s are preparing to say
farewell to Jane and John Jordan who will be moving down to
live in Kent just before Christmas to be nearer their
daughter Katie and to enjoy there new grandson Tom as he
grows up. Thank you for all you have done at St David's as a
steward and senior steward, as secretary of the Ladies
Fellowship as member of the property team and many
other unseen jobs done! As a church family we will miss you
both but wish you every blessing in your new home.
Congratulations to Anna and Tai Makanjuola on
the birth of their Twins Tomos and Manon, a brother and
sister to Idris and to Grandparents Tom and Caris Williams.
Congratulations to Rev Geoff Seddon who has celebrated his
90th Birthday on 2nd December.
May I wish you all a Happy and Blessed
Christmas and Good wishes in the New Year.
Gwyneth Leigh, St David’s Pastoral Worker
Articles for the next
Our next edition
will be at Easter. Please can you get any
contributions for this edition to me by Sun 2nd
April. Seasonal contributions are particularly
welcome. Thanks very much. Bev
St John’s and St
David’s Churches are part of the Conwy &
Prestatyn Circuit of the Methodist Church. They
share a minister, Rev Beverley Ramsden.
A leaflet is
available at the back of both churches with
further details about Methodism, its beliefs and
Our minister is
available to discuss any matter of concern,
The baptism of
children and adults;
the Christian faith;
preparation and ceremonies;
If you would like
to talk to Rev Bev about these or any other
matters, she can be contacted on 01492-877799 or