The Parish of St Andrew & St Mark, Surbiton
HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM ST ANDREW'S AND ST MARK'S

We are one parish with the good fortune of having two churches in Surbiton with their own histories and styles.

I am going to suggest the impossible. It's what everyone always says, but then most of us ignore it.

My suggestion is that at some point in the next few weeks, you must be still. But I also think there's a key to it all that's surprisingly obvious.

The lead-up to Christmas is so important to so many people. Shops need to sell more in December than in the other 11 months combined. Pubs need to be full. School concerts and carol services need to take place. Presents need to be bought. Cards need to be written. There's so much to do, and that's on top of the daily run of things that we do anyway. It can feel oppressive.

I want to suggest how to get past it. It's to think about the peace of the Christ child.

Have you ever held a baby? In fact, I'm not thinking of any old baby here, I'm thinking of the really new ones, under three months, when they don't really do anything. They just sit there, sleep, very occasionally get fed, cry and then go back to sleep. Of course, Advent looks forward to Jesus both at his entry into the world and in his second coming at the end of time, but I wonder if, right now, what we need to feel is the peace of the Christ child. This earth-shaking person started off as a baby, with no possessions, no worries, nothing at all: just stillness. If you do hold a really little baby, especially if he/she is not yours, somehow you know not to move around. you don't want to break the silence. You don't want to go on your mobile phone. There's something magical about them.

Just take that presence and apply it to your life.

Stop for a moment. Do nothing. Think about what there is to be grateful for. Thank God.

And then, only then, get back to it.

Rev'd Robert Stanier

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Calendar of Upcoming Events and Services

21 December 2014
4th of Advent

Carol Services

Our churches have hosted 7 carol services in the last ten days and over 1,800 people have worshipped with us. If you havenít had the chance to come to a carol service yet, then come on SUNDAY EVENING (21ST) for the best one of all, with our own choir and the chance to sing fantastic carols. 6pm at St Markís.

Parish Christmas Day Lunch

Preparations for the Parish Christmas day lunch at the YMCA for those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. Small, wrapped and labelled male / female or unisex gifts can also be donated at either church, please put in assigned boxes at back of the church. Contact the parish office for more details.

Christingle Preparation

We need a team of people, especially dads and children, to put together Christingles on Tuesday 23rd, 2-4pm, at St Andrewís. Itís a fun task, putting sweeties on oranges and getting candles ready, but it needs a good team to do it. Kate and Christian Manz will be overseeing things on the day.

St Andrew's and St Mark's PCC is a registered charity under registration number 1130093.

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