There is a poem that I read every year on Christmas Eve. It’s a poem that I really love because my Mum read it to us as children as we put out a mince pie and glass of whisky for Father Christmas, along with a carrot for the reindeer! As I listened to Mum reading the poem, the magic of Christmas began.
‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ by Clement Moore
‘’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse……’
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.’’
This year, my mother won’t be with us for Christmas because she died in May. In common with millions of families around the world, there will be spaces at the table where normally loved ones sit. But as I read the poem and remember her, I am determined to make some new and positive memories of Christmas 2020 to look back on too.
Our celebrations of Christmas this year will be different. But what remains the same is the fact that in the birth of Jesus Christ, God is with us. Gaze at the Nativity window in St Mary de Crypt Church. Or stand among the Mop Nativity in the Raikes Chapel. As you do, remember that in all the challenges that we continue to face, in our grief and disappointments as well as in our celebrations and the good things of life, the story of Christmas tells us that in the birth of a baby, God is always with us. God is with us loving us, caring for us and pouring out hope.
As we hope for better days to come, may you feel God’s comfort and be delighted by God’s joy this Christmas season.
Canon Nikki Arthy
Christmas at DeCrypt 2020
You are warmly invited to our Christmas service on Friday 18th December at 1.00pm. The service will last about 35 minutes and although we cannot sing carols this year, there will be festive comfort and joy with readings, music and prayers in the uplifting surroundings of St Mary de Crypt.
Looking for something special? Our shop is full of unique hand-made and local gifts.
There's still time before Christmas...drop in and see what we have to offer. We're open for shopping Wednesday to Sunday 11.00am until 3.00pm.
Bring some Comfort and Joy this Christmas
Free Christmas meals gifted by Hempsted Church
This year many of us have been challenged by isolation, illness, hunger or changes in circumstances. Hempsted Church with St Mary de Lode and Discover DeCrypt are working with The Long Table, Stroud, to share comfort and joy in our communities this Christmas by providing a free, delicious, home-delivered frozen Christmas meal.
If you know anyone who would be blessed in receiving this, please contact Hempsted Christmas Comfort and Joy on 07732 384576.
Discover DeCrypt Angel Trail
Our free Family Advent Trail is now available! We were amazed to discover just how many angels there are hiding in the architecture and stained glass. Come and discover some corners of the buildings you have never noticed before.
The trail is fun for children and a challenge for adults too! There is a small gift for every child and the chance to enter our Christmas Raffle. Visit any time during opening hours and ask at the welcome desk for the trail sheet.
If you can't visit in person this Christmas, then why not download the Discover DeCrypt app and take a virtual tour in search of angels? Let us know how many you spot!
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