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Christmas Week – Celebration

December 24, 2015

Theme for the week – Celebration

Prayer for the week

Diolch byth, a chanmil diolch,
Diolch tra bo yno’i chwyth
Am fod gwrthrych i’w addoli
A thestun cân i bara byth;
Yn fy natur wedi ei demtio
Fel y gwaela’ o ddynol ryw,
Yn ddyn bach yn wan, yn ddinerth,
Yn anfeidrol wir a bywiol Dduw.

Ann Griffiths

Thousand, thousand thanks, and endless
all my life shall sing the praise
of my God who for my worship
wondrous powers in manger lays.
Here in tempted human nature,
here – like weakest of our race,
here as helpless human infant,
here is God in power and grace.

Transl. David Fox

This verse, translated by David Fox, is taken from Seasons of Glory, published by Churches Together in Wales ©Cytûn: Churches Together in Wales 1997 with the kind permission of Cytûn.

Christmas Message from Bishop John

A photo of Bishop John

Have you read ‘One Solitary Life’?  One life, two thousand years ago, changed much of the world, the habits and morals of its people and has profound, continuing relevance for today.

It’s too easy to believe that your solitary life can do nothing to change the world, because every

  • act of love;
  • act of forgiveness;
  • welcoming of a stranger;
  • moment of tolerance;
  • word of encouragement;
  • embrace of healing;
  • act of support for a campaign for justice

will change someone’s world and thus change the world itself.

Don’t underestimate the potential of your one, solitary, life. God bless you and strengthen you to fulfil your potential to be an agent for changing someone’s world.

With my best wishes that you may know peace and joy at Christmas and beyond.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him|
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
One betrayed him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the monarchs that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Dr James Allan Francis 1864-1928 © 1926.(Amended)

Advent Carol for the week

Pentatonix, Mary, did you know?


Bethlehem Nativity

The story of the birth of Jesus told by the people of Bethlehem. Made by St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand and published in December 2012. Anyone is welcome to show this film publicly, but not change it in any way, nor publish/broadcast it, nor make money out of it.

The music is an instrumental version of Fink’s Sort Of Revolution.

Children’s Corner

Christmas isn’t Christmas without wearing a silly hat or two. What better way to spend some time with your children than to make a reindeer hat for you all to wear! In our house I have one reluctant crafter and one who absolutely adores it. However, if I make sure that the craft is all set up before we start, then the reluctant one will happily join in.

Here is what you will need to make a reindeer hat with hand-shaped antlers:

Reindeer hat

  • Ordinary brown paper for the base of the hat
  • Stiff brown paper or card for antlers
  • A different brown paper for ears
  • Red paper for a round, red nose
  • White paper for eyes (black paper or ink for pupils)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

To make the base of the hat:
Measure around your head to find the length of brown paper you will need for the base of the hat.
Glue the ends to form a circular band.

Making antlers and ears:
On the stiff brown paper, draw around your hand. Fold the paper and cut out two hand shapes. (Leave enough at the base to fix it firmly to the base of the hat).
Cut out two ears from brown paper and glue them to the base of the antlers.

Making the eyes and nose:
Draw two round eyes on white paper. You can colour in the black part of the eye or cut out two black shapes and glue them on.

Putting it altogether:
Make the join in your hat the back.
Glue on the nose and eyes at the front of the hat on the outside.
Glue one antler/ear combo on each side of the hat on the inside.
If the antlers are a bit floppy you can strengthen them by gluing a lollipop stick to the inside.

Let the glue dry – then put your hat on and party!

These are such a lovely idea, and a great keepsake because your children’s hands are the antlers. I hope you have as much fun making these as we did!


Advent Events

Check out our events page for Advent and Christmas events around the Diocese.

If you would like us to advertise any of your Advent events please send the details in to our vision email address: [email protected].

Advent Resources

Snow churchyard

If you would like to send in some of your useful Advent, Christmas or Epiphany resources then please email them to our vision email address: [email protected].

‘The Nativity’ DVD – first shown on the BBC in December 2010, written by Eastenders scriptwriter Tony Jordan. You can see part of the show on Youtube by following this link. The full DVD can be purchased on Amazon.

Posada – The idea of travelling crib sets comes from an old Mexican tradition. Posada was the tradition of young people dressed as Mary and Joseph travelling from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve they would visit the local church to re-enact the nativity and place figures of Mary and Joseph in a crib. Modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph who travel from place to place. this gives each ‘host’ the chance to create their own celebration in their home or place in the community, worshipping and reaching out to their communities with the real message of Christmas, making room for Jesus in their lives.

Xmas postbox

Messy Church – Advent and Christmas: See a range of ideas (Advent Candles, Messy Nativity, Nativity Sheep Trails, The Gingerbread Nativity – and more) by visiting the Messy Church website.

‘Talk Talk for Christmas and New Year’  is written by Lucy Moore and Jo Cox and produced by The Ugly Duckling Company. Table Talk is a game to get people talking about the big issues in life; the Christmas and New Year version is an all age resource. It costs £25 and is available from

A free download is available for iPads/ phones etc – and you can watch a promotional video here

Here’s how to download the game:
Google Play:


Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley – an anthology of poetry.

Do Nothing… Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell

Love Life Live Advent Make Room for the Manger – An all-age resource to help children and families celebrate the run-up to Christmas. Authors: Paula GooderPeter Babington


Advent Calendar – a poem by Rowan Williams:

BC:AD by U A Fanthorpe:

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