Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Francis Wood

Thanks for the CARD

The first Christmas card arrived this week. It contains some words from the poet Roger McGough. "Every day I think about dying, disease, starvation, violence, terrorism, war and the end of the world. It helps to keep my mind off things." Then it says "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year".

It's typically English to use humour to touch our deepest feelings. We're a nation uneasy bringing our emotions to the fore. So we live with an unfulfilled desire to 'get away from it all', whatever 'all' is. It's as if we can only find real life when we take a holiday from it.

There's a feeling too that it's the job of the Church to help take our minds off things. This is wrong. The Church's task is to enable us to keep going, not to get away. Many people can testify to having the Church around them as they struggle to face the challenges of today and to embrace them.


It's Advent Sunday tomorrow, a time of journeying to Bethlehem. There are many ways in which the Church helps us to go with Joseph and Mary on the journey. Some arrange a Posada. It's a Mexican word meaning an Inn. In the Advent Posada the models of Joseph and Mary, later to be used in the Christmas Crib in Church, travel the parish seeking shelter at different homes each evening. They finally arrive at Church in time for the service on Christmas Day. Other Churches set up a Labyrinth to represent the journey of the Three Wise Men from the East. There's just time to take part in one at Christ Church, North Shields tomorrow or Monday 2-4pm. New this year is Godspace a form of worship signifying Darkness and Light at Christmas. You'll find this at the Church of the Holy Nativity, Chapel House next Saturday from 2-4pm. Spending Advent properly means trying not to celebrate Christmas before it comes. Everyone knows a birthday means so much more if you wait for the day. …

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