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Celebrate Christmas in Keresley


There are services and events for all ages during the coming Christmas season at St Thomas’ and at Keresley Village Community Churches. A warm welcome is extended to all to come and join the celebration of our Saviour’s birth. For families and the young at heart there is another ‘Messy Church’ at 4pm on Sunday 13th December, followed by a Christmas Make’n’Take on Tuesday 22nd December at 10am. These are both at Keresley Village Community Church but are open to the whole parish. Then the Crib Service takes place on Christmas Eve at 3pm at St Thomas Church where the nativity story is told as the children bring the nativity figures to the front.

A Christmas Prayer Lord, as I enter into the fastpaced season ahead, help me walk slowly and quietly. Let me stop and listen to the angels sing of the greatest news ever told. Let my heart, mind and soul join the chorus. "Glory in the Highest!! The Messiah has been born!" Among all the bright sparkling lights and cheery holiday tunes, let my spirit travel once again toward Bethlehem to honour and worship Jesus, my King, The Prince of Peace, the Lord of Hosts, Mighty Counsellor, Son of God, the Lamb. All Your love, mercy and power somehow made flesh in the tiny form of a humble baby born in a manger. et me worship the only one who is worthy to take our sin away and open the gates of all eternity! Anon


You can’t do On Sunday 20th December at St anything about Thomas’ the Sunday School and young people play a key role in the service at the length of 10.30am. There will be some dressing up and lots of singing as they share your life, the Christmas story. In the evening at 6pm there is the opportunity to listen again to the whole but you can do story from the bible at the Lessons something and Carols by Candlelight. At 11.30pm on Christmas Eve at St about its Thomas’ we celebrate Christmas in the quiet of the night with Communion. width and On Christmas Day there is a Family Communion at 10am. depth Looking forward to the New Year, a time when many of us make new year resolutions, there is a Covenant Service, a special service from the Methodist tradition at Keresley Village Community Church, on Sunday 3rd January, led by David Hunter, Circuit Superintendent, with Ruth Walker.

Inside this issue: St. Thomas’ Calendar 2 and Notice Board Local news


Night shelter appeal


St Thomas’ past




Keresley Village Community Church Calendar


New year thoughts


A prophet for our time


Mouse page


12 days of Christmas 8

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Sunday 6th

Sunday 3rd

9am Holy Communion & Hymns Ruth Walker 10.30am Christingle Family Service, Peter Walker

9am Holy Communion and Hymns. Peter Walker 10.30am Family Service. Peter Walker

Sunday 13th

Sunday 10th

9am Holy Communion. Ruth Walker 10.30am Family Communion and Baptism. Peter Walker 4pm Messy Church. At Keresley Village Community Church

9am Holy Communion. Ruth Walker 10.30am Family Communion. Peter Walker

Sunday 17th

Tuesday 15th

9am Holy Communion and hymns. Peter Walker 10.30am Family Worship and Baptism. Peter Walker

8-8.45pm Prayers for St Thomas’. Galilee Room

Sunday 24th

Sunday 20th

9am Holy Communion. Peter Walker 10.30am Family Communion. Peter Walker

9am Holy Communion and hymns. Peter Walker 10.30am Family Worship and Nativity Play. Peter Walker

Thursday 24th Christmas Eve 3pm Crib Service. Peter Walker 11.30pm Midnight Communion. Peter Walker. Preacher: Pete Hudson

Friday 24th – Christmas Day 10am

9am Holy Communion. Ruth Walker 10.30am Family Communion.. Peter Walker

February Sunday 7th 9am Holy Communion and hymns. Peter Walker 10.30am Family Service and Baptism

Family Commuion. Peter Walker

Sunday 27th 10am

Sunday 31st

Family communion. Peter Walker. NOTE only one service today

Daily Prayer: 8.30am,Monday, Wednesday and Friday at St Thomas’ Church, Tuesday at Keresley Village Community Church.



Sunday Morning Activities at St. Thomas’ 10.30am (during term time) 1st Sunday Family Service in Church 2nd Sunday 3-11s, Sunday School in Galilee Room, 11+, Pathfinders in the Church Hall. All join the service around 11.25am 3rd Sunday All ages start in Church 4th & 5th 3-11s, Sunday School in Galilee Room, 11+, Pathfinders in the Church Hall All join the service around 11.25am This pattern may change occasionally for special services.


Monday evenings, 7.30pm, Galilee Room (School Year 9 and above. Contact Steve Medley for more details)

Thursday at St T’s For 5-11 years Meets in the Galilee Room On Thursdays From 6pm to 7pm

Uniformed Groups Meet in the Church Hall : 13th Brownies, Mondays, 6.00 - 7.30pm 9th Brownies, Brownies Wednesdays, 6.00 - 7.30pm 9th Guides, Guides Thursdays, 6.30 - 8.30pm Meet in the Scout Hut: 41st Cubs, Cubs Mondays, 6.45 - 8.30pm 41st Scouts, Scouts Tuesdays, 7.00 - 9.00pm 41st Beavers, Beavers Fridays, 6.00 - 7.30pm (for 6-8 year olds )

First Steps . . . with Jesus For babies and pre-school children with their parents and carers Meets in the Galilee Room, weekly in term time Mondays 1.30-2.30pm



Refreshment for all Tuesday afternoons, 1.30-2.30pm in the Galilee Room 8th December—Christmas Meal (bookings only) 22nd December—Carols and mince pies If you need transport or would like to request prayers, please contact Margaret Bosworth on 7633 7932 leaving a message if necessary with your name and telephone number and she will ring you back.

Proceeds from Autumn Fayre £608 was raised for the Church Hall kitchen fund at our very successful Autumn Fayre on Saturday 28th November.

Christmas make ‘n’ take craft activity morning. 10am to 12noon .Tuesday 22nd December at Keresley Village Community Church— open to all No matter what your age, why not come and make all types of crafts around the Christmas theme

Christmas Choir Singers of all abilities are invited to join our choir for the Christmas Carol Service on Sunday 20th December. There are three rehearsals on Saturday mornings: 5th, 12th and 19th December at 9.30am Speak to Ruth Walker or Jo Medley for more information. The choir are also invited to sing at The Spinney at 6.30pm on Monday 21st December.. Refreshments provided.

Flower arranging for Christmas Help decorate the church for Christmas. Please join us on the morning of Saturday 19th. Speak to Jean Elliot for more details.

Sunday 13th December 4pm Keresley Village Community Church—open to all . . . Fun . . . Food . . . Fellowship . . . Families . . .Friends Coventry Amnesty International Group

Marking Human Rights Day 10th December 2009 Human Rights Day will be marked by a short ceremony in the Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral, on 10th December at 1pm Please come to stand in solidarity with those who bear the brunt of abuse and those who challenge the abusers.

Human Rights Exhibition in the Chapel of Unity 5-12th December and in the foyer of the Central Library 7th-12th December to raise awareness of the worldwide abuses of human rights and to celebrate those who struggle against this, often at great personal risk. First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a communist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the gypsies, and I did not speak out-because I was not a gypsy; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak out for me.


in partnership with Churches Together with Refugees in Coventry (CTRIC), the Peace House, Carriers of Hope and the Broad Street Drop-In

HOPE FUND Christmas Appeal 2009 to support the work of Coventry Night Shelter


he Hope Destitution Fund was launched earlier this year by the Lord Mayor, the Bishop of Coventry and the Refugee Centre to provide food, clothing and emergency support for destitute asylum seekers in the Coventry area.

The Shelter is the only place in Coventry open every night of the year to offer them warmth, food and somewhere safe to sleep. Some asylum seekers who have been refused cannot return to their country for fear of their lives or because their country will not accept them back. They are not allowed to work or receive benefits. They become homeless without any means of support. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Coventry Refugee Centre’ and marked on the back ‘HOPE FUND CHRISTMAS APPEAL’. They should be sent to: Coventry Refugee Centre, 15 Bishop Street, Coventry CV1 1HU All the funds raised will go to the Coventry Peace House Night Shelter. Further details from CRC Chief Executive Bhopinder Basi on 024 7652 7114

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that he is who he says he is. His solicitor thinks he cannot find any more grounds to challenge the negative decision from the Home Office. Eritreans are never returned. Prevented from working, receiving any benefits or leaving the country, he is trapped. But this morning he looks much happier. He went to Birmingham yesterday and spent a lot of time with a family he knew who had just had a baby. A bit of normal life and being around the happiness a new baby brings has done him so much good. Then there is Elek from Hungary who is an economic migrant rather than a refugee but who is also very vulnerable. Although he has been here for two years and worked most of that time, he does not have quite the right paperwork to get any help now that the work has run out. That is a big problem for him because he has MS and since he has been with us his health has deteriorated considerably. He does have the option of return to Hungary but he is very reluctant to go back for a host of reasons, especially the way that gypsies are treated there. There are many others including some-one recovering from TB, a man whose mother died last week in Africa, a man trying to get all the documents he needs to return to India, and a man who is a physiotherapist and is very frustrated that he has been prevented from working in the nine years that he has been here. We have recently had pregnant women staying and tonight apparently there will be a woman who has been working as a domestic servant and is now out on the streets with no papers, having fallen out with her employer who has kept her passport. Thank you for any help you are able to give us so that we can at least provide safe shelter, hot food and a welcoming smile for those who are outside the usual system and have no recourse to public funds. Penny Walker, Coventry Night Shelter. November 2009

Monday morning at the Night Shelter


s the weather gets colder, our numbers are increasing again. The volunteers overslept this morning, and so when I went into the shelter, to check all was well and they hadn’t run out of sugar or any other ingredient, most people were still asleep. The sight of the tightly packed camp beds made me feel very sad. One person was up, eating some bread and cheese in the kitchen. The milk always disappears overnight, however much I leave. At times like this I feel so bad about how little we are able to offer and that it is available to so few people. The contrast between the richness of my life and their current situation is quite overwhelming. When they are all up and about it feels a bit better. They are people again – all amazing individuals coping with very difficult circumstances. There is Biniam from Eritrea – such a positive and helpful young man and yet lately even he seems to have lost his sparkle. His appeal was refused despite photographic evidence

How people become destitute People who come here in search of sanctuary are given somewhere to live and a small allowance while their case is being processed. If they are refused asylum and do not have children, their support stops and they become destitute. They are told to go home and can apply for help to go back but most people are too frightened to return. There is a commonly held belief that people who are refused asylum (70% of applicants) are not genuine refugees. In fact it is very hard for them to prove what



St Thomas’ Keresley and Coundon The main headline for the December 1917 issue was FOOD ECONOMY NUMBER And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed and said, O that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men bark through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well o f Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy fo their lives? II Sam. xxiii verses 14-17. Everybody has heard that a Food Economy Campaign is being started throughout the country. At present the Government desires to persuade us to economise voluntarily WHY ECONOMISE AT ALL?

The verses quoted above from the story of King David’s campaign suggest one reason for economy. It is not among the official reasons, but it is a very powerful one all the same. When Kind David realised that, in order to obtain for himself a draught of water, he had caused three soldiers to risk their lives, he was ashamed to drink it. Now, every mouthful of imported food and drink that we consume has come to us at the risk of men's lives. And further, it is the risk and sacrifice of men’s lives that is making it possible for us to produce and consume even home-grown food. Our food is paid

has occurred and the system is far from helpful. These are some of the things which can happen:  They do not have the necessary documents to

prove that they are escaping persecution  They cannot prove who they are or where they

are from  Their torture marks have gone.  They may be so traumatised by their experience

that they forget things and get events in the wrong order  The interpreter has a different dialect and

confuses what the applicant has said  They have not been given sufficient time with a

solicitor to prepare their case  The Home Office has mislaid their papers  The Home Office does not have accurate

information about the human rights situation in their country

for not only by the money we spend on it, but also by lives of men laid down, by bodies mutilated and shattered, by minds disordered, and by the tears of widows and orphans. That is the sober truth about our food in these days. It ought to shame us into cutting down our consumption to the very smallest limits. In many households this is being done already. In many it is not. Mr Collins goes into great detail on the reasons for world shortages and difficulties of supply and ships to do so. He finishes with these thoughts: The moral of all this is—economise—tighten your belt. Adopt the Food Controller’s scale of rations. Husbands, be firm (but gentle) with your wives and don’t let them cater for you on the old scale. Put your foot down (not on the wife), and say, “War-time rations for me”. Wives, be firm too, but also tactful. You need not always announce beforehand, nor explain afterwards, your meal-time economies. Assume that your men-folk are satisfied with what you give them and be discreetly silent. A Food economy Sub-Committee is in process of formation for the Parish of Keresley, for the promotion of the Food Economy campaign. A demonstration on “Meatless Meals” was given the following January, 1918; cookery competitions were held for savoury and sweet dishes, but as the year went on food production thankfully increased. The full article is available on the website.

Where did Christmas stockings come from?


o one is really sure, but a story is told of St Nicholas, a bishop who lived in the 4th century, who may have started the custom by accident. St Nicholas was of a wealthy family, and of a generous heart. As Christmas approached one year, he wanted to help a poor family whom he knew, but he did not want them to know it was him. So he climbed up on their roof on Christmas Eve and dropped some coins down the chimney. The next morning the coins, to the great surprise of the family, were found in the stockings of the ladies, who had hung them to dry by the fire the night before. Every year after that they put their stockings out, in the hope that some more money would fall into them. They told the story of this amazing appearance to their friends and neighbours, and the custom caught on.

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K ERESLEY V ILLAGE C OMMUNITY C HURCH S ERVICES December Sunday 6th 10.30am - Family Service - Ruth Walker

10.30am Morning Service.. Alan Bennett 6pm Holy Communion. Ruth Walker

Sunday 13th

Sunday 24th

10.30am Holy Communion. Ruther Walker 4pm Messy Church

Sunday 31st

Sunday 20th

10.30am Holy Communion. David Hunter 10.30am Morning Service. Ruth Walker

10.30am Morning Service. David Hunter 6pm Carols by Candlelight at St Thomas’


Thursday 24th. Christmas Eve

10.30am Family Serivce. John Horsler

11.30pm Midnght Communion at St Thomas’

Regular Meetings

Sunday 27th 10.30am Holy Communion. Ruth Walker

January Sunday 3rd 10.30am Covenant Service. Ruth Walker and David Hunter

Sunday 10th 10.30am Holy Communion. Ruther Walker

Rev Paul Hardingham, Rector of Bolton

Sunday 17th

Sundaty 7th

"Children's Club" Mondays Trailblazers 5-6pm Tuesday mornings 9.30-10.30am First Steps for babies and pre-school children with their parents and carers, during term time Wednesday 7.30-9pm – ‘Drop-in’ Centre for teenagers Mondays and Thursdays 9.309.30-11.30am Coffee mornings. The Church is open for anyone to drop in for a drink and a chat

Epiphany - the light has come!

New Year’s Honours



t the start of a new year we celebrate the coming of light into our world. Epiphany asserts that Jesus came as the light foretold by Isaiah: ‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you’ (1). However, the prophet also reminds God’s people that they are to be ‘light for the Gentiles’ (42:6; 49:6). How can we shine in 2010?

Shine With God’s Love ‘I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me.’ (John 17:22-23). How can God’s love shine through the practical love demonstrated in our community life as Christians?

Shine With God’s Word ‘Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.’ (Phil. 2:1416). How can we make God real by holding fast to the Scriptures (both hearing and doing the Word) in our daily discipleship?

Shine With Good Works ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’ (Matt 5:14-16). How can we be a real influence for Christ in the places where we live and work in the coming year?

e are all familiar with the Queen's New Year honours list, which celebrates peoples’ significant contributions in life. But what would God's New Year honours list look like? Who are the people he chooses to honour? Psalm 1 gives us an answer to these questions. The person who is blessed by God is compared to a tree: ‘he is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers’ (3). They are strong and well-nourished, able to cope with drought and storms, while being fruitful. Will this be a true of us during 2010? By contrast, we can be more like bonsai trees, whose growth has been stunted. They are starved of nutrients to ensure that they are perfectly formed, but miniature in size. So often the church today resembles a bonsai nursery rather than a forest of mighty trees! Like the bonsai, we are starved of nutrition. Instead, consider the alternative: ‘his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night’ (2). Here is the challenge for us during this coming year: to push our roots deeply down into his Word, meditating on it day and night. As we read and reflect on God’s word we are constantly reminding ourselves of God’s promises, character and acts. The psalm promises us that as we do this the Bible will become a real delight, rather than an experience of learning multiplication tables! As we learn to do it, it will delight us more and more, because it is the voice of a friend speaking to us. Obviously the devil doesn't want us to experience this! He wants to keep our growth as stunted as possible. So we need to build ways (eg use some sort of Bible reading notes) of keeping our roots in the Bible. Don’t forget that a



W EDDING 7th November Robert Lea Hammerton and Patricia April Anne Gutteridge

C REMATIONS 23rd October Beryl Dorothy Warner (82) Cottage Farm Lodge 28th October Barbara Patch (70) Wheelwright Lane 13th November Eileen Mary Thomas (85) Shorncliffe Road

B URIAL 3rd November Gladys Minnie McGowan (91) Brackley Close at Canley Garden Cemetery



23rd October June Collins (72) and Brian Collins (76) Daneswood Road, Binley Woods 29th October Philomena Lyttle (72) Grangemouth Road (Continued from page 6)

recent survey found that one-third of people will have given up their New Year resolutions by the end of January, and only one in five will keep them to the end of the year. There will be times when our Bible reading doesn't seem to delight us, when it feels like a real slog! At such times turn back to Psalm 1 and remind yourself what the goal is: to grow into maturity, deeply rooted, drought resistant and fruitful. We will never get there unless our roots are deep in God's word.

Day & Night Blessing

May God’s blessing be yours, And good be it sent; May Christ’s blessing be yours, And good be it meant; Spirit’s blessing be yours, For life’s good intent, Day arising indoors, Night lying down spent. Ancient Celtic Prayer

A Prophet for our Time A Prophet for our Time: Isaiah 9: 2-7


hen Isaiah first spoke these words it was a dark time for God’s people, as the Assyrians had conquered the northern provinces of Israel (734 -732 BC). However, Isaiah speaks of the future Messiah as coming like a great light. These words, read especially at Christmas, are fulfilled in the birth of Jesus and describe the 4 key characteristics of the Messiah.

Wonderful Counsellor: This new ruler will not need others to advise him as to how to administer his royal power. So with Jesus, the crowds marvelled at the way he taught with authority. What shall I do? In what ways do we need to ask for Jesus’ help in difficult decisions in our lives?

Mighty God: The Messiah is described as ‘Mighty Hero’, the one who is superior to all who oppose him. Jesus, through his cross and resurrection, was able to do battle on our behalf against the powers of evil and to triumph as the Son of God. Who can help me? Who do we trust to see us through the difficulties issues we face?

Everlasting Father At first sight a strange title to apply to Jesus! However, he is ‘Everlasting Father’ because he cares for his people a as a father cares for his children. Who cares for me? When we feel alone and under pressure who do we trust?

Prince of Peace: Isaiah describes how the Messiah’s rule results in endless peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, who has made peace through the blood of his cross and secured peace with God, between people and with ourselves. What can I say? In the face of conflict who can give us the words? Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate that God is faithful to all his promises, ‘the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this’.

Regular Activities in the Church Hall NB the Church Hall is not usually available for late night Discos Pre-school Playgroup: Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3pm Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scouts meet on weekday evenings. See page 2 for details.

Paul Hardingham


Our Community December 2009 & January 2010  
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