Apart from the obvious talking point of bitter cold temperatures, frosts, biting winds and the 'Cold Snap' the major issue of today's script is the above - Christmas Fair. It seems to have pounced on us this year, and there was no gradual build up, just one pandemoniac rush to prepare and fulfill. Our two Lady Directors and Refreshment Organisers did their usual sterling job, working behind the scenes all hours, many days, weeks of paper work. On the actual Sunday the sun came out spot on 12.00pm. when it was officially declared open, and the human surge from Sunday Mass filled the Hall. There was a lovely atmosphere and plenty of hustle, bustle and nattering. Business was brisk on all the stalls, and it was a pleasure to see so many children with parents from school in attendance. The Fair only lasted two hours, and yet it was enough, as the expected drift began at 1.15pm. and the only people remaining by 1.45pm. were the loyal band of “cleaner-upperers.” That proved to be a slick operation as well, and the school was restored to its working condition for Monday morning by 2.45pm. A huge 'thank you' and well done to everyone involved and concerned.
It was also a Children's Mass to start the Advent Season in style. Fr. Peter lit the first Advent Candle with little Jake (one of our rapidly growing little ones) standing by; eyes widening as the flame bobbed up and down. The Wreath was constructed by Paula on Friday, 1st. December and it looks like a huge green cushion with festooning drapes of Ivy and Leylandii, as it is set on a little stool. No sign of the stool with all the greenery!! The hand-picked Readers were superb. They read like professionals, and one delivered her lines from memory, giving full eye contact! Fr. P was most impressed.
It was a day of impressions all round really. One of our parents is an Events Manager and had done his bit of decorating in the Hall; a little house for Father Christmas and his sacks of goodies for the visiting children. There were two handsome gold chairs; one for Father Christmas and one for the child and lots and lots of beautiful lights dotted around in the house and around the Hall to polish off the grotto effect. A smash hit as you can picture.
So there it is.....over, done and dusted for another year. Back to the daily grind of work, school, business and Christmas preparations. Unfortunately there is one snarl to the smooth-running routines; the sickly bug has now crept up into the Junior classes and is having a good time there! Hopefully it will be a clean bill of health for everyone by the time Wednesday, 20th. December arrives. School then finishes for Christmas. So much to do and so little time left. As ever we will all get there and it will come and go as usual.
Please do not forget the poor, needy and homeless. We are having a massive Campaign for the Preston Refuge for victims of domestic abuse. The response has been overwhelming from the school and parish alike. Quality bedding, towels, toiletries, clothes, baby sets; we cannot keep up. An enormous 'thank you' for such thought and generosity. “That is what Christmas is all about,” said Fr. P on Sunday, and quite right too.
So I will leave you for another week and continue my rushing around. Prayer Time is very important at this time of Advent, and the long dark evenings lend themselves to the joyful expectation of the Light of the World.
Take care of yourselves.
Watch out for elderly Neighbours.
Love and prayers.
Most weekends we have our young people helping with the Collection, collecting Missalettes at the end of Mass and taking part in the Offertory Procession. We try to alter our front of church Tableau each week to fit in with the Gospel of the Day, and a short explanation is given to the Congregation.
People show great interest in what the Catechist does each week!. Our parish is a small country one, and through the Sunday Mass our little ones get to know each other before entering our school.
Fr. Peter Charles Crowther obl. sbso | The Presbytery, Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, PR6 8SD | Tel 01254 830 995 | Reg Charity: 232709