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Saint Johns Methodist Church

Llandudno

Connections

Messy Church Dates  Congregation  God please show me  Concert season 2017

Concert-Friday, 24th  March 7.30pm with Penrhyn MVC and John Ieuan Jones.

 

Christmas Issue 2016       

Connections

 

At St 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.

One 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, is it?

But 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 relationship project.

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.

That’s 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.

This 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.

We 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.

One of 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 wonderful stuff!

I hope 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.

Who would think that what was needed

to transform and save the earth

might not be a plan or army

proud in purpose, proved in worth?

Who would think, despite derision,

that a child might lead the way?

God surprises earth with heaven,

coming 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 luggage?

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 families.

It had been worth the waiting.

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 another exhibition.

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.”

Matthew 2:13

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 to settle.

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

Father God,

Just as your Son was once a refugee,

fleeing the violence of a tyrant,     

so we pray for refugees today.

May they be protected when they journey

may they be welcomed when they arrive,

and may they discover the hope found in Jesus

so their weeping turns to joy. Amen

Contribution from Arline Griffiths, St John’s. Taken from her Advent devotional notes written by Tim Chester.

 
 

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 looked stupid!

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.

Nothing 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 Joseph’s diary.

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 common sense.

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 his appearance.

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 again.

Now, how many woolly jumpers will we need in Egypt and is there room for the ‘wise men’s gifts?

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

Ingredients
 
God
Enthusiastic Christians on two continents
Prayer
Vision
A desire to spread the Good News of Jesus
A desire to improve the living conditions of local communities
 

Mix together and what do you get?

A 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.

The 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. 22858575 22852950 (`@````````` 266 263 5 110183775 110178150

As 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.

The 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 harassed housewife.

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 a child.

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 the experience.

Love does not get angry and shout at the kids to stay out of the way, it keeps no record of wrongs.

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 “Hallelujah! Christmas!”

published by TLM Trading Ltd.

for the Leprosy Mission. Contribution suggested by

Madge Small, St John’s

 

 
 

On 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.

The 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.

One 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.

My 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 then to 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.

As 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.

It 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

 
 
Two Horses

A True Story

Where I 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.

Like the 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 planet:

*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.

*If 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 products.

* 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.

Use 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.

The 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

I 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.

But 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 surcharge.

So 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

 
 

The Maker 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.

This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal Non-morality,” more commonly known as “S.I.N.”

Some of the symptoms include: 
1. Loss of direction 
2. Foul vocal emissions 
3. Amnesia of origin 
4. Lack of peace and joy 
5. Selfish or violent behaviour 
6. Depression or confusion 
7. Fearfulness 
8. Idolatry 
9. Rebellion

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.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing 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.

DANGER:

Human 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!

P.S. Please assist wherever possible by notifying others of this important recall notice.

You may 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.
Let 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 edition

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

 
 

Llandudno Methodist Churches

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 practices.

Our minister is available to discuss any matter of concern, including:

The baptism of children and adults;

Information about the Christian faith;

Preparation for church membership;

Marriage preparation and ceremonies;

Funeral and memorial services.

If you would like to talk to Rev Bev about these or any other matters, she can be contacted on 01492-877799 or emailed at revbev@llandudnomethodists.org.uk

                 

 
 

 This site was last updated on 20/03/2017