As you may know, life at the Rectory is now full of puppy love – and puppy problems! So, I just couldn’t resist this picture as we wait and watch in hope through Advent for the coming of Christmas.

I spent this morning waiting in hospital for a treatment to an arthritic foot (nothing major). Booked in at 7.45am I was told that it could be a short wait  – or a long one: “So bring a good book”.

Knowing that I couldn’t determine the length of time waiting was surprisingly liberating. I surrendered to the wait… I had time to say my prayers, to chat to some of the other patients, joke with the staff, feel a sense of righteousness that the oldest patients were seen first and experience a quality of watchfulness as I took in all the comings and goings of a busy ward.

Rather than feeling fretful or frustrated, I found I was able to welcome the experience –  and then, at last, my name was called, and my foot became a pin cushion – ouch!

To be able to ‘welcome’ is to be hospitable, a word which derives from the Latin hospes meaning ’host or ’guest’. Interestingly, hospes is formed from hostis (as in ‘hostile), which means ’stranger’ or ‘enemy’. There’s more to hospitality than hanging out with friends… it also demands a capacity to welcome that which is strange and potentially threatening.

Throughout the season of Advent, as we wait and watch in hope to welcome the timeless birth of Christ, we will be reflecting on what it means to be a church characterised by hospitality.

We celebrate Advent Sunday joining together in worship THIS SUNDAY@10am via Zoom. Eric will talk about hospitality and building up our life together. Do make the time to join together to mark the start of this spiritually very special season – and don’t be put off but you’ll need to be in the Zoom ‘waiting room’ before you can be admitted to the service! Here’s the link:

Advent Sunday Zoom Service

It’s also been a great blessing to join together morning and evening – seven days a week –  for daily prayer. It’s open to all and a ‘good’ habit that’s surprisingly easy to form! Why not form the habit?

Here are the links to both the prayer times and the order of service.

Daily Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer Advent

Daily Evening Prayer

Night Prayer Advent

We are continuing to pray for Clive Yeomans, Angela Portlock, Stella Boyse, Charlie Gray, Caroline Goddard, Anne – Marie, Derrick Pope, Clive Loseby, John Steadman, Julian Kennedy-Cook, baby Rupert, mum Katie and dad Sam.

And we give thanks for the life of Judy Page and all who are grieving. Her funeral will take this Thursday morning.

Collect for Advent Sunday:

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Readings for Sunday : 1 Cor 1. 3-9 and Mark 13. 33 – 37.