The Vicar's "Two Penn'orth"
January 2018: A Great Christmas and Looking Forward to the Year Ahead
Rev Paul, Vicar of Hoylake, writes ...
Happy New Year to you as we look forward to all that God has in store for us in 2018!
Christmas brought us another very successful Christmas Tree Festival under the steady leadership of Tom and Jane, and supported by our team of volunteers here at St Hildeburgh’s. The total raised after expenses was £3,250 - which is a fantastic sum. Well done to everyone who committed their time and encouragement to make this possible! A proportion of the funds raised will of course go to charity, as we share our good fortune with those less fortunate than ourselves.
Our annual Christmas Tree Festival is a great example of the church and community coming together – both to worship and to enjoy fellowship with each other. I look forward to this year’s festival as planning begins. Scripture reminds us:
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:3
There were many encouraging comments about the warmth, both spiritually and person to person, that the church provided - and continues to provide. The last twelve months have seen many new faces at St Hildeburgh’s, joining in various activities. It is also wonderful to have parishioners from our local nursing homes coming along to our monthly, Friday lunch. It has been said that the Church is the only place or organisation that is open for non-members, and I think that this is a good way of looking at it. As a church, we must continue to encourage all people - from all walks of life - into the community of faith.
Another encouragement was welcoming over 400 people at St Hildeburgh’s (of all ages), joining us over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It is more encouraging still to think that other places of worship also welcome large numbers to their Christmas services. We are all one in Christ and our unity is important, as we join together to spread the Good News of the Gospel.
Also over the Christmas period, we hosted a carol concert to raise funds for the local RNLI Lifeboats, with a substantial sum of money being raised. This is another example of St Hildeburgh’s working with our local community.
The most important season of the Christian year now draws to a close, and we anticipate all that Lent has to offer. During Lent, we will be hosting an open Lent group that will meet on a Tuesday evening. St Hildeburgh’s will also host the annual Hoylake Lent Lunches (with proceeds going to charity). These lunch meetings will be open to all, and we will share the worship part of the lunches with St John’s, Meols. I would encourage you to join with us as we reflect upon the journey that Jesus took to the cross.
In January, we welcomed the new Head Teacher, Mrs Christine Wright, to our church school (Hoylake Holy Trinity Primary School). It is encouraging that she is very happy to support St Hildeburgh’s, as we work together to teach local children the faith. It was great to have the whole school in church at Christmas - and we look forward to seeing them again at Easter.
Every term, we host a Communion in the school. It would be wonderful if you would really get behind us in this, as we demonstrate the love of Christ through the Communion. It is also a real privilege to be able to be part of the collective worship of the school. Both Peter and Karl from our Ministry Team share in this work. Again scripture informs us:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” – Acts 2: 42-43
Rev Paul, Vicar