Benefice Newsletter 6th December

Dear Congregation and Friends of St Mary Longcot,

Please find attached a copy of Sunday’s Benefice Newsletter and associated documents from Lucy. 

Sunday Service at St Mary.  David Ahearn has kindly agreed to lead the next service in St Mary, which will be Morning Prayer at 9.30am on Sunday 6th December.  For those of you who have been in the church recently, you will notice that we have not turned on the heating as a cost-saving measure.  I can assure you all that the heating still works, having had it on this morning as a dress rehearsal, and it will be on full blast for the service on Sunday.

Carol Singing.  Most of you will now be aware that the current Government restrictions allow us to sing carols outdoors, although, as Norma has pointed out in the Newsletter, there are still some caveats. 

Service on Sunday 20th December.  This brings me on to the traditional Carol (or not?) Service on Sunday 20th December.  Canon Paul and I have been in discussion about the format and location of the service.  We could have a limited number of us inside St Mary (max of 25) with readings and some recordings of carols, handbell ringing etc.  The benefit of such an event is that it would be warm.  The downside  would be that we would not be allowed to sing.  An alternative would be to hold a foreshortened service outside (either in the churchyard or on the Green) with a couple of readings and the opportunity to sing some carols.  Singing would be the obvious upside but the potential for inclement weather would be a key downside.  Currently the service is planned for 6pm.  If we kept that timing (and the availability of our vicar is a key point) it will be dark outside and could be quite chilly.  A 2pm service on Sunday might be a possibility so that it would be light outside but would need Paul to get his skates on to get to the Green at Fernham in order to lead the service there at 3pm.  But perhaps Saturday might be an alternative (and my apologies to Paul because I have not even mentioned that date as a possibility)?  If anybody has views one way or another I would be grateful if you would let me know by the end of Friday 9th December, so I may then discuss them with Paul.  Thank you.

Best Wishes,


Churchwarden St Mary The Virgin, Longcot

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