SteepholmI don’t know how many of you know but the island of Steep Holm is in the parish of Emmanuel.

Doug Halstead was given the challenge of going up the tower of Emmanuel to take a photo of the island to be used in the parish profile.  Doug took Rhys Thomas with him.

They went through a door having no idea what they would find and began climbing the narrow, steep, spiral staircase.

It was so narrow they had to tiptoe up the stairs and the only light they had was from the torch which Rhys had held in his mouth so he was able to steady himself on the way up.

Mary Passey...Mary Passey

Earlier this year I retired after working 57 years as a trained nurse.  I felt I had done my bit for Queen and country - as the old saying goes.

I knew I must retire at sometime and I was looking forward to having a little bit of time for myself - but I also prayed - “Lord keep me working, don’t let me be idle”.  Two days later I had a phone call from Meg asking if I would consider being church warden again.  I had been church warden for 11 years previously and had had two years off.  My prayer had been answered.  And I have never been busier.

Dear fellow Christ Church and Emmanuel members, We are all going through a time of considerable change in our lives.  And change is something we all find difficult to adjust to, let alone respond to.  But we are responding to the changes the vacancy has produced.  It is wonderful to see so many actively responding in whatever way is necessary in order that the life of both Christ Church and Emmanuel should not only continue, but also thrive. We are conscious of the need to go further, much further, and that our churches should become the focus of many people coming to faith and trusting in God.  I wonder if the following may have a resonance in your mind as you read.  There are two questions on my mind at this point in time. 1. How have I become so complacent, so uninspired with my own faith and experience of God that it is so difficult to encourage others to seek both God’s forgiveness and His presence?
2. What can I do to remedy this situation?

About a year ago I heard my neighbours were in really bad health and offered to go and pray with them.  They had received some really helpful answers to my prayers in the past so were very happy with this suggestion.  After they had shared the details of their ill health with me, I prayed into their situation, thanking God for past help and looking to Him with hope for the present situation. A week later I was surprised to receive a lovely bunch of flowers to express their thanks for my prayer because God had answered in such a way that in the words of one of them "I haven't felt THIS well in years."

Felicityfrom Dr Felicity Mussell...

Christmas in the Bangla language is “Boro Din” which means literally “Big Day” and it will indeed be a big day for us at LAMB, centred on the church which is on the compound.  The church building was extended this year, but it will still be overflowing with children and adults for the Christmas services.

In the week before Christmas, there will be various celebrations in the hospital, including the staff service, but Christmas proper will begin with the Christmas Eve service in the early evening in the church.  The church will have been decorated by the young people, and will look very bright with paper decorations, streamers and probably balloons!

The service will probably mainly follow the usual Lutheran liturgy, but the hymns/carols will be Christmas ones.  Some you would recognise, as they are Bangla translations of traditional Christmas carols such as “O Come all ye faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.

After the service, a group (mainly youngsters but not only the young) will set off on the “kirtoning” which is a special sort of carol-singing which also involves dancing and playing traditional instruments.

They will go from house to house on LAMB compound, and will be treated to Bangla tea and snacks as they go, and then they will probably go to houses off compound, and sometimes even into Parbatipur town.  They have been known to keep going all night! On Christmas Day itself, there will be a family service in the church at 9 a.m.

With the Christmas post arriving this month, may I renew my plea to save the Christmas stamps by cutting them off the envelopes, leaving a quarter-inch border around each one and putting them in the box on the Information Desk.  Used British special issue stamps (but not ordinary first or second class ones) and foreign stamps can be put in this box at any time of year. The Bible Society are able to sell these stamps to collectors and it is a very useful way of raising money.

This is one way in which we can all be involved in making Bibles available and affordable around the world, giving readers a purpose and direction in life. Thank you for your support in this on-going collection. Glenys Sutton-Jones.