The Rector’s Message for the Week of December 13, 2020

Rector Turner
The Reverend Canon Carl Turner

Dear friends,

I am delighted that it is possible for some of our local choristers to sing at two of our Christmas services this year. At the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols they will sing in the rear gallery and the gentlemen will sing in the choir stalls. On Christmas Eve, the choristers will sing for the vigil mass at 6pm. I am sorry that we cannot have a Midnight Mass this year but we felt it was important that our staff did not have to travel late at night and early in the morning. The 6pm mass will be available on-demand so you could always participate later on Christmas Eve. Please note that the Christmas Day mass will be at 10am this year. Like all our choral services, it will be livestreamed and then available on-demand. Please register in good time; we are already nearing capacity for some of the services around Christmas, and I am told that as of today, we have reached capacity for the Nine Lessons and Carols for pre-registration.

Over the past few weeks, a number of people who have pre-registered have not arrived at Church on the Sunday morning; this makes it difficult for the vergers and the ushers who have seating assigned, particularly as we always have some people who arrive on the day. If your plans change, please let us know so that we can release your pew to someone else.

On Sunday, we have the Blessing of the Crèche at 3pm. This service was prerecorded to allow different families to bring their children at different times. It is designed especially with children and families in mind; do tell your friends who have children and grandchildren about it. You might also consider watching it with any godchildren that you may have.

Father Spencer will be leaving us on January 10 and I want to invite you to contribute to a farewell gift. Many of you have told me how much he has helped you with pastoral care. Please follow this link to donate online – simply write Fr. Spencer farewell gift on the order page before you ‘check out.’ Alternatively, you can send a check to the Parish House addressed to the Finance Department; mark the memo line ‘Fr. Spencer farewell gift.’

Although many of you cannot get to church in-person at the moment, over the Christmas period we will offer the chance to have a candle lit at the Christmas Crèche for 7 days; see below for further details and how to remember a loved one.

Our dear friend Benjamin Sheen, former Associate Organist and now Sub Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, is giving a a short live-streamed recital of German Christmas music for organ from Christ Church on Monday, December 14 at 7.30 pm UK time (2.30 Eastern US). Ben invites you to ‘drop in’ or watch on-demand. Click here for the link.

To end, a poem by David Grieve,

Advent Good Wishes

Give you joy, wolf,
When Messiah makes you meek
And turns your roar into a cry that
Justice has been done for the poor.

Give you joy, lamb,
When messiah saves you from jeopardy
And all fear is overwhelmed
By his converting grace.

Give you joy, wolf and lamb together,
As Messiah brings worldwide peace and,
Side by side, you shelter
Under Jesse’s spreading shoot.

Your priest ad pastor,