At St Leonard’s we had a very enjoyable and well attended Christmas
season. The church was festooned in the colours of Christmas but now it is
all packed carefully away. The decorations never seem to squeeze back in
behind the organ quite as they should, but now baby Jesus, wrapped in his swaddling clothes, or “onesie” in modern parlance, can relax all year with
the woolly nativity characters watching over him.
We welcomed Epiphany in January and as the clock light shines out in these dark evenings, it is certainly a star to behold for all the wise men and
women looking up – you know who you are! I discovered this year, as Clare
and I are kept on our toes writing some of the services, that it is never
mentioned in the bible how many wise men there were, just that as there
were three gifts presented to Jesus, there must be three Kings. Facts and figures eh!
In February we have a regular pattern of services with Communion on the first Sunday, and the Family Service on the third Sunday with our theme of
“Saints”, and no, probably not football themed I am afraid. We are also bringing back the coffee morning on the first Saturday of each month, 5th
February, from 10.30am – 12 noon, and it will be a great opportunity for people from the community to meet over a coffee and a cake. Do join us!
As you will know we are in “Vacancy” (without a Rector), and although the
informal consultation has finished, we now enter the formal consultation.
The “Pastoral Scheme” suggested by The Diocese involves Wellow and Sherfield English, currently one benefice, joining with Thorngate benefice (Lockerley, East and West Tytherley and East Dean) to make one benefice of six parishes although each parish church retains a committee to run and finance the church. At St Leonard’s, not only do we have to maintain the
building and pay the bills, but we also should pay the Diocese about £10,000 annually. This amount is not reduced even if you are in “Vacancy”.
Obviously, with covid around, we, like a number of other churches have not paid this target amount. We are relieved then that our fundraising can start
up again, so if you are free for coffee and a cake on 5th February do come
and swell the coffers, as well as meeting your friends. We are delighted that St Leonard’s has been chosen to host the Confirmation Service of the area’s candidates with the acting Bishop of Winchester, Debbie Sellin, taking the service on Sunday 10th April. We have
several parishioners making this important step in their Christian life, and if
you would like to do the same then please let me or Clare know as soon as
possible. Julia Noble, St Leonard’s Churchwarden