Christmas Glitz And Glory
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
There's a buzz of excitement in the air in Yiewsley as St Matthew's Church gears up for Advent and Christmas. "The shops may have the glitz," said Phil Groom, Church Webmaster & News Editor, "but they'll never get the glory."
Advent started at St Matthew's on Saturday 25th November with a Quiet Morning, an opportunity to escape the glitz and rediscover God's glory in a virtual trip to the seaside using photos and sound effects. "There's something truly awesome about the sea," explained Phil, "watching waves crash against a rock, becoming aware of the ocean's vastness, its depth and power.
Then becoming aware that God is vaster still - yet like the waves breaking on the shore, God was born as a human being at Christmas, breaking his heart on our stubbornness, but never giving up."
On Advent Sunday, November 26th, the first candle on the Advent Wreath was lit and, after the service, a special "Lights of Life" tree was dedicated as a memorial to lost loved ones. Special prayer cards have been produced on which names may be written and the tree will be available for those who have been bereaved to place cards whenever the church is open through Advent.
But the church knows how to do glitz too: on Saturday December 3rd it's the annual Christmas Bazaar in the school, from 10am - 2pm, complete with Santa Claus, Grand Draw, competitions, all sorts of stalls and more: fun and festivities for all the family.
There's something special on most Sundays after that: another Advent Candle will be lit each week, there's an all-age toy service on December 4th (bring along any toys you'd like to donate to charity), a special presentation from the Sunday School on December 18th, and, on Christmas Eve the two most popular services of the year: Christingle at 4pm and Midnight Mass, starting at 11.30pm.
Finally, for anyone who thought Christmas Opening was a new thing the shops had invented: the church has always been open on Christmas Day, and this year's no exception with a Christmas Communion - Christ's Mass - at 10.30am.
Full details of St Matthew's services and activities through Advent can be found on the church website at