Christmas messages

Religious leaders from Daventry have submitted Christmas messages to the Daventry Express

Every evening in winter, Holy Cross church is floodlit. This week the interior is a blaze of light and colour as we hold our Christmas Tree Festival. Light is not only pretty, it is essential for daily living. We call Jesus, the light of the World, because at Christmas, he was born bringing light to an often dark world.

The other day, I almost fell as I tried to find somebody one evening in a local village – no street lamps there, you need a torch. And yes we do need light and guidance in life.

Our country has one of the largest number of people suffering from depression or not feeling valued, in the world. The Christmas message is that God so cared about us that he came as the Christ child, to give us his light and warmth. Through prayer and worship, I believe we can receive that light and warmth. And we can reflect that light and warmth to others.

The other day I spoke to somebody who is having a tough time in life. He received a kindness which said a lot to him. All of us can do the same. But just as car headlamps only work because they are recharged so Jesus can recharge us with his light and love.

So this Christmas as well as switching on the Christmas lights, may we also think of coming to worship to let Christ enlighten us.

I wish all the readers of the Daventry Express a happy and blessed Christmas.

Canon Michael Webber,

Rector of Daventry’s Holy Cross Church

A short story by Rev Bill Winter

“Tracy, it’s been too long.”

“I know, I’ve ordered two cappuccinos with chocolate sprinkled on top.”

“Ali, that scarf of yours is so cool.”

“A present from Adam.”

“Adam! Who’s Adam?”

“Graeme’s son from his first marriage. He’s in his final year at Uni.” “Oh, that Adam. But I thought you two didn’t get on.”

“He’s changed. He talks so naturally about God, and Jesus, and stuff like that now as if it’s all true and not just a fairy story… like the birth of Jesus and Christmas.

Our kids and yours are in the school nativity together. Adam says all that’s really happened. He says he and his girlfriend have started going to a discussion group with other students and he’s slowly become convinced by considering the facts from all sorts of non-Christian sources including secular historians, from Christian writers, and the Bible itself.”

“Wow! This is really something. Err… what does Graeme think of it?”

“You know my husband, Tracy…” “Give me the facts, Ali.”

“So… he’s going to look at the facts too, then?”

“Yes, and he says we had better too. What do you think?”

“Mmm… Ali, I think we had better give it a fair hearing. Who do we speak to?”

“Adam says any Christian minister in town will help, but also loads of ordinary committed Christians all over the place. He says lots of books have been written about it too.”

Tracy looked at her watch. “We had better get to the Nativity play, Ali, or we’ll be late.

“See you there, Tracy, I’ll be looking at it with new eyes. Thanks for the coffee. Bye.”

Rev Bill Winter,

Daventry’s Baptist Church

Celebrating the birth of Christ

Christmas is a special time of year when we meet with family and friends. It’s a time for celebration and friendship.

Of course, for some people Christmas brings with it a sadness, remembering friends and relatives who have passed away, or perhaps it brings financial burdens which are difficult to carry. Christians believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ our Saviour and he brings hope and comfort to those who rejoice and those who feel burdened at this time of year. Pope Francis has encouraged all Christians to live the joy of the Gospel and share the hope and peace of Christ’s birth with those around them.

On behalf of the Catholic Community in Daventry, I wish all of the readers of the Daventry Express peace and joy this Christmas season and may the blessings of God be yours as we begin 2015.

Fr Sean Healy

St Augustine’s RC Church

Have a wonderful Christmas

Daventry United Reformed Church wish everybody a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year.

We are situated between Sheaf Street and Foundry Place where the building has been for nearly 300 years.

Refreshments are served Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to noon and a warm welcome awaits you with a chance to visit a wonderful building.

Church secretary Rosemary Taylor

Daventry’s United Reformed Church

Giving the gift of hope and peace

It is wonderful that at Christmas we engage in the act of giving and receiving. What is not so wonderful is that many people today feel they have to spend so much that they mount up debts which can take ages to pay off.

Indeed, TV adverts are already on our screen inviting us to ‘save now for a debt free Christmas 2015’.

Many of you will recall Christmases of childhood when gifts were not as elaborate or expensive as they are today. My mother would tell me of spending Advent evenings making paper decorations, washing fruit for puddings and cake and singing carols as they went along. Things are different today.

Amongst all the fever and expense of preparation for Christmas we have lost some of the simplicity and purity of Christmas. At the first Christmas God gave to the world the most precious gift – the gift of his son Jesus. There was no financial aspect to this gift whatsoever, the baby came to us, as one of us, and lived a very human life. The cost however was great and the debt paid was high. Jesus chose to go to a painful and degrading death so that we may be forgiven our wrong-doings – that was the debt which he paid for us.

So alongside all the costly gifts this Christmas perhaps we need to also think about what gifts we can give which cost no money – the gifts of love, hope, reassurance, kindness, friendship and peace.

Deacon Janet Thomas

Daventry’s Methodist Church

Spare a thought for those in need

Christmas is a fantastic time of year when we can remember what is really important. We can remember our families and friends, we can remember those that are in need around us, and most importantly we can remember the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

As each Christmas goes by, I think that I spend too much on presents and not enough time serving and helping others. Each year it becomes more difficult to find the time in our busy schedules to remember those that are struggling, and to reach out to help them.

One of our church leaders recently taught us that it doesn’t take expensive gifts to make Christmas meaningful. Indeed, remembering the first Christmas can be a reminder to us of what is really important. Reflecting on the giving of gifts at the very first Christmas points us to the real reason we celebrate Christmas. The gifts were all designed to honour the Saviour, Jesus Christ and we honour Him in the way that we live our lives.

Hopefully we can spare a thought this Christmas, not only for the Saviour, but for those of His Father’s children that need our help the most. Maybe we can find time to do the odd act of kindness too.

Bishop Paul Hughes

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints