Mid-Week update from St Johns

Date: December 23, 2020

Dear Friends,

Well, only two days to go and with so many last minute changes, I feel that
pinning down a plan for Christmas has been rather like trying to trap the
tail-tip of a fractious tiger – still not quite sure if I have it in the
bag yet!

Firstly, it might be useful to give you a quick guide to what is happening
at the upcoming services, as we have only two in church, and the rest
online, as follows –

24th Dec   Midnight Mass – ONLINE
25th Dec.  8.30am  BCP,  in church
10.15am Eucharist in church

27th Dec   8.30am & 10.15am ONLINE
3rd Jan       8.30am & 10.15am ONLINE

Thank you all for being so understanding about the constant changing state
of our Christmas services. Today I put up the 3rd, and hopefully final,
list of ‘whats’ on’ on the Church gates!

For those of you who have been unable to get to church, I took some photos
of the lovely flowers that are there – thanks to Caroline, Rosie, Alan,
Sylvia and Julia for your fabulous arrangements that have made the church
look so Christmassy.

Christmas photos St Johns.pdf

If you haven’t heard the online carol service, here is the link.  Thanks
so much to the choir for singing so beautifully, to James for playing the
organ, Jason for coming to add to the base line and to Rob for organising
it, recording it, singing in it, and then finally editing it so we could
all listen to it online.


James kindly took a couple of photos of us in action (singing so far apart
he had to take 2 photos to get us all in).

Rob asked if I could mention the following concerts –
*Friday 22nd January at 1.00pm (Online)
*Tom Robson *tenor*
Robert Mingay-Smith *piano
*Music by Roger Quilter & Michael Head

*Friday 26th February at 1.00pm*
Ruth Stockdale *flute*
Richard Russell *clarinet*
Alex Davidson* bassoon*
Music by Beethoven & Kummer, Fauré’s Sicilienne
and highlights from The Magic Flute & Barber of Seville.

*More tea….?*

This is very topical!  Catherine sent me a photo of Richard, heading into
the old Wilson Hospital, earlier this week as one of the first tranche of
people to get their COVID vaccine.  Apparently it’s being used as a
vaccine centre from now on, so we might all be heading over there at some

*Old friends*
Julia asked me to pass on that she had recently seen a couple of people
from St John’s who most of us will remember – firstly Gill Reynolds, who is
sadly suffering from Parkinsons but who seemed cheerful and was being
extremely well looked after at home by excellent residential carers.  And
also David Nanson, who she popped in to see, taking a box of chocs and Xmas
card from St John’s.  He is still living at home, and has regular
carers.  Julia didn’t see David, but his carer was able to let her know
that he is doing well.

*A Christmas Good News story*
As many of you know, St John’s been involved with the Night Shelter again
this year, albeit in a smaller way, as we only have 5 guests at a time, and
these are living constantly in a flat above a church at the end of the
Broadway, rather than going from venue to venue each night.

Mick from the Alex has always helped with the food, and this year he had
been planning to cook for the shelter on Xmas Day, but of course with the
pub shut, he has no kitchens.  This all became apparent rather last minute
yesterday, and I’d just like to thank the amazing team of people from St
John’s and around who have all leapt in to save the day – ‘our’ team is
Julia, Catherine, Ursula, Jane A, and in addition four others who live
locally, who are all cooking extra Christmas Dinner on Friday, so we can
collect it all together and give the shelter guests a proper, home-cooked
Christmas meal in the evening.  Everyone has been so kind and generous
about helping, I was able to sort out the problem within a couple of hours,
and hopefully the guests won’t even be aware there was a hiccup.  One of
the people involved, who was also watching all the offers of help come in,
texted me saying, *’Oh Jane, it seems the Lord was watching and all becomes
even more touching, like one of those kids’ Christmas movies’… *and I
think she may be right!

So, thank you so much to my ace team of Night Shelter chefs, and Happy
Christmas to everyone reading this –


Service times


8:15am Holy Communion (BCP)
9:00am Children's Service - Twice a month
10:15am Sung Eucharist