Janet`s December 2019 letter to the Community

We are once again preparing for Christmas. I wonder what your preparations look like? Present-buying, card writing, food shopping? Cooking is not my best skill – I have never mastered the art of the roast dinner – so I am very fortunate to have young relatives who are both excellent cooks and generous with their hospitality. I know I shall enjoy my Christmas lunch.

I also know that there are many who are much less fortunate. Shamefully, in our wealthy society, they include many children whose parents, for often complex reasons, lack the money, skills or ability to meet their basic needs and who struggle to find the support they long for. It is with families such as these that the Children’s Society has been working since 1881. Today, alongside important campaigning work, the Society is involved in activities including the prevention of child criminal exploitation and ”county lines”; tackling child sexual exploitation; supporting young refugees and migrants, young people experiencing problems with mental health and emotional well-being, and children affected by adult substance misuse. These are significant issues in our society that affect the life chances of thousands of young people and, indirectly, diminish us all.

Historically, at St Paul’s, we have supported the Children’s Society by holding a Christingle Service in December. We’re not going to hold this Service this year (ask me about this if you’d like to know why), but we do want to continue to support the Society in the vital work that they carry out, so we’re issuing an appeal on their behalf. We will be providing Childrn’s Society envelopes and these will be available for the next few Sunday from the sidespersons.  We encourage you to take an envelope and place your donation in the envelope into the collection plate on any Sunday before Christmas.

At Christmas we celebrate the truth that the God of all creation became a human baby, experiencing the reality of the total vulnerability of babyhood and childhood. God knows what it is like to be powerless and to have needs. We have a God who can empathise. As we prepare for our joyful celebrations at this time of year, can we include in our

preparations a gift that will support work to alleviate pain and distress and improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people in very great need?

With my prayers for a blessed – and compassionate – Christmas and New Year!




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