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The Sodbury Vale Benefice Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury, Horton & Little Sodbury

O U T LO O K

magazine

www.svbcofe.org.uk

December - January 2016

1 Jane is enrolled as a Companion of the Society of St Francis by Brother Damian. See 1


Churchwardens

Contacts Rector

Chipping Sodbury

The Revd. Canon David Bowers 01454 313159, [Day off Monday] email rector@svbcofe.org.uk

Joy Gibson 01454 319288 Jane Jones-Williams 01454 324970

Associate Priest The Revd. Yvonne Brae 01454 325160, [Day off Monday] email yvonne@svbcofe.org.uk

Old Sodbury

Karen Hunter If you would like to know more about the 01454 319903 Christian faith or are thinking about baptism or confirmation please speak with one of the the ministerial team

Little Sodbury Brenda Cordy 01454 316447

Church Office

Open during school term time Mon - Tue - Thu mornings 9.00 - 12.00 Horton Tina Hildick-Smith Administrators: 01454 325160 01454 320380 Michelle Jenkins, Trish Gailey Richard Needs email: office@svbcofe.org.uk 01454 329890 Web Site: www.svbcofe.org.uk

Advertising: Volunteer required

This magazine is brought to you Free by the four churches of the Sodbury Vale Benefice. If you would like to make a small donation towards production costs (about 70p per magazine) that would be most welcome. Thank you.

Editor: Michael Stephenson 01454 314094 email outlook@svbcofe.org.uk

Nominated Person: Mrs Hilary Holder 01454 327118 This is the person to contact if you wish to express concern about suspected abuse of a child or vulnerable adult

Feb Deadline Can you have all copy to Michelle in the Church Office by Jan 12th at the latest please.

Front Cover- An entry from the 2012 Crib Festival. By Michael Stephenson

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FROM THE RECTOR Dear Friends There is often a temptation to see Christmas as simply a bit of escapism to help us through the darkest time of the year and the depth of the winter. Perhaps something to help us to forget the more difficult aspects of life for a few days. That certainly seems to be the commercial philosophy of the festival as we often feel obliged to spend lots of money to have a good time. From the perspective of the Christian faith, however, Christmas is far from escapist. It is a message of hope as we think about the birth of Jesus into a world which contains darkness and sadness as well as light and goodness. The Christmas message is that, in the words of the carol, Jesus “came down from highest bliss, into such a world as this.” When we read the accounts of the Christmas story in the Gospels we see that Jesus was born to a couple who were facing great hardship and uncertainty. In the wider context, he was born into a society which was ruled by a cruel tyrant who himself was a puppet of a very harsh Roman government. It is easy for us to forget the reality behind the cosy images of the stable and the manger. Whatever our circumstances, hopes or fears this Christmas, we can know that God has entered into human history and showed his love by the gift of his Son. One of the biblical titles of Jesus is “Emmanuel” – God with us, and we can know that he is with us to share our lives. Now that is that is something really worth celebrating! Why not make it a resolution in the new year to find out more about Jesus and the life he offers? You will find a warm welcome in each of our churches. Judith joins me in wishing all of you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. David Bowers

Prayer for December This month’s prayer is actually the final verse from a well-known Christmas carol, “O Little town of Bethlehem”. It was written by Revd Phillips Brooks, an American Episcopalian priest, in 1868 and it captures how this momentous event took place in the quietness of the night in a small and, as it was then, fairly insignificant town. The final verse is a prayer that the Christmas story may become part of our lives so that we know the presence and the power of Christ. O holy child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in: be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell: O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel. 3


December 20 (Fourth Sunday of Advent) Micah 5: 2 - 5a Hebrews 10: 5 - 10, Luke 1: 39 - 45 Magnificat December 27 (First Sunday of Christmas) 1 Samuel 2: 18 - 20, 26 Colossians 3: 12 - 17 Luke 2: 41 - end Psalm 148

Marriages: We send our congratulations to: Stephen Arthur Kerner and Hannah Clare Saunders at St John’s Chipping Sodbury on 15 October Christopher Kevin Goss and Shanice Jacqueline Margaret Smith at St James’ Horton on 29 October

Funerals:We extend our sympathy to the

Principal Service readings January

families and friends of:

Iris Joyce Wheeler at Westerleigh Crematorium on 12 October 2016 Graham Paul Febry at St John’s Old Sodbury on 29 October 2016 Patricia Linda Lewis at St john’s Old Sodbury on 1 November 2016 Elizabeth Pitman at St John’s, Chipping Sodbury on 3 November 2016 Phyllis Hopkins at St John’s Old Sodbury on the 8 November 2016 Cecil James Willis at St John’s Chipping Sodbury on 9 November 2016

January 1 (2nd Sunday of Christmas) Isaiah 63: 7 - 9 Hebrews 2: 10 - end Matthew 2: 13 - end Psalm 148: 7 - end January 8 (Epiphany) Isaiah 42:1-9 Acts 10: 34 - 43 Matthew 3: 13 - end Psalm 29 January 15 (2nd after Epiphany) Isaiah 49: 1-7 1 Corinthians 1: 1- 9 John 1: 29 - 42 Psalm 40: 1 - 12 January 22 (3rd after Epiphany) Isaiah 9: 1 - 4 1 Corinthians 1: 10 - 18 Matthew 4: 12 - 23 Psalm 27 1, 4 - 12 January 29 (4th after Epiphany) 1 Kings 17:8 - 16 1 Corinthians 1: 18 - end John 2: 1 - 11 Psalm 36: 5 - 10

Principal Service readings December December 6 (Second Sunday of Advent) Baruch 5 Philippians 1: 3 - 11 Luke 3: 1 - 6 Benedictus December 13 (Third Sunday of Advent) Zephaniah 3: 14 - end Philippians 4: 4 - 7 Luke 3: 7 - 18 Isaiah 12: 2 -end

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Leonard Cohen

Get into the Christmas Spirit

L e o n a r d Cohen died November 2016 amidst the unsettled, unhealthy atmosphere of the American election when many wonder what on earth is happening and who look into the future with a sense of gloomy wondering. Questionably Cohen’s most well-known song was Hallelujah. Here Cohen has written into his lyrics an updated take on David’s affair with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11 to 12) with perhaps a little reference to Samson and Delilah. You can read the lyrics online, just type “Leonard Cohen hallelujah lyrics” into Google and you will find them. It’s the third verse in which Cohen expresses his deep search for God. Perhaps many of us find those words resonate into our lives as we face the difficulties and mystery of life, why do such things happen? What’s the point, even those claimed to be beloved of God make such terrible choices? The truth is not every question can be answered no matter how heartfelt it is. We don’t know whether Cohen finally found peace in his quest before he died, but may I suggest that no-one should ever stop searching, questioning, no-one should ever stop questioning how their life stands with God, no-one should ever stop looking for God’s love. We might be surprised at where we find it. ‘And even though it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah Yvonne

Come along to Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Tuesday 13th of December at 7:30 and join Yate Choral Society in their Christmas Concert. You will hear old, new and familiar Christmas songs and carols, and be able to join in the singing of old favourite carols. After the concert join us for free tea, coffee and mince pies to round off a great evening.

On the wall at Old Sodbury Primary School Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. 6


there are the hymns, in which the congregation join. The service always starts with “Once in Royal David’s City” sung by a solo boy chorister at the West End of the chapel. Three boys are selected as potential soloists, but so that the boy chosen doesn’t get too worried, he is not told until shortly beforehand. In fact, the boys are so professional that they have never been known to falter. Traditionally, the Director of Music contributes at least one new descant for the hymns, so you will notice that the well-known descants of David Willcocks have sometimes been replaced. It is impossible to reproduce on the radio the atmosphere of being in the vast and glorious 16th century chapel, with its magnificent windows, carvings, fanvaulting and flickering candles. Radio can however give a sense of the special “King’s sound”: a blend of young, highly trained voices (hardly anyone in the choir is over 21 years old) combined with the 6-second echo. However, since 1963 a special carol service from King’s has usually been televised. This has a different format, with biblical and nonbiblical passages read by students, as well as carols, and is well worth watching if you want to see the chapel as well as hear the choir. This year, as for the past 2 years, we in the Benefice have a special link to the service, as Edna Barnham’s grandson, Isaac, is singing in the choir as one of the Counter Tenors (male altos). I hope you will join me and Val this year in experiencing the wonder of Christmas through Carols at King’s. Steve Abbott

Carols at King’s

After my first curacy in Deal, Kent, my second job as an Anglican priest was to return in 1972 to King’s, my college at Cambridge when I was a student, as Chaplain. As a keen amateur singer and lover of classical music, this was a great joy and privilege, never more so than when taking part in the service of 9 Lessons and Carols. The service still never fails to move me, as it does millions of people around the world, and Christmas would not be the same for me and Val without the radio broadcast on Christmas Eve. The service is nearly 100 years old. Devised by Dean Eric Milner-White in 1918, it was first broadcast on the radio in 1928. The format has hardly changed. There are 9 readings, which trace the story of our salvation from the Fall, through Old Testament prophecy and the Christmas readings, to the Christmas Day gospel. These passages are read by representatives of the College, the City of Cambridge, and Eton College (sister college of King’s). The version used is the King James Bible, which is in fact used at every service in the chapel. There are now, however, far more than 9 carols sung by the choir. One of these, every year, is brand-new, commissioned from a well-known composer. In addition, 7


“Journey” Book Group The “Journey” Book Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month over lunch (12.302.15) at St. Nicholas Church Centre, Chargrove, Yate, to discuss a book which we have all read the previous month. Normally, these are fairly recent novels, e.g. “The Light between the Oceans” (which has just been made into a film) and “Miss Garnet’s Angel”. We have also occasionally looked at biographies and more established classics (e.g. “A Room with a View” by E.M. Forster). We make joint decisions about which books we read. Many of the members of the group come from different local churches. We take our own sandwiches, but are treated to delicious cafetiere coffee. If you like reading and would be interested in joining this enjoyable and friendly group, contact The Old Sodbury team has 6 registered members and we visit Old Sodbury School Steve Abbott (315073). on Tuesday mornings where we are Open The Book welcomed by staff and pupils. The Celebrations were held in September this children are always keen to know if it will year as it is 10 years since a team of be their class that will be dressing up to volunteers started visiting Old Sodbury take part in dramatising the story. We find School to share stories from the Bible. the Bible story telling enjoyable and Past and present “Open the Book” team rewarding and we hope that our visits will members and guests attended the school be meaningful for the children and they Harvest Festival service for thanksgiving will gain a greater understanding of the Bible. and later enjoyed a celebration lunch. The “Open the Book” scheme enables every child to hear stories from the Bible in their primary years. “Open the Book” became part of “The Bible Society” in 2013 and continues to grow. There are now over 2,200 schools visited, with 1,600 teams reaching hundreds of thousands of children each week. 8


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Celebrate new Life with Bishop Robert Following Bishop Robert’s consecration as Bishop of Tewkesbury on 30 November, we are inviting everyone in the Diocese of Gloucester come to Gloucester Cathedral in December as we welcome him into his new ministry. Bishop Robert will be a Suffragan Bishop, which means that he will assist Bishop Rachel with the running of the Diocese. Although Robert will be well known to most of you as Archdeacon of Cheltenham, this is the start of a new ministry for him, as well as a time of new beginnings with our new diocesan vision, Life. With this in mind, local schools, charities and other organisations will play a big part as we celebrate his new start. One of the highlights of the service will be the presentation of Bishop Robert’s pastoral staff, which has been created for him by pupils from All Saints Academy. It would be wonderful to see lots of you at this special service on Sunday 11 December, at Gloucester Cathedral from 2.30pm. You will be able to see the pictures from his consecration day on our Facebook page Facebook.com/Diocese.of.Gloucester

You can see photos and videos from the day on our website and Facebook page Facebook.com/Diocese.of.Gloucester If you’re not on Facebook, just search for the Diocese of Gloucester and you should still be able to see the pictures. If you didn’t make it to the event, here’s an overview of the new vision, which brings together views from communities and churches across the Diocese and beyond about where God is leading us for the next five years. Leadership: Committed to transformation Imagination: Opening new paths to faith Faith: Living as adventurous followers of Jesus Christ Engagement: Living out Christ’s love and hope Copies of the vision with more detail about the areas we want to focus on have been sent to every church in the Diocese and can also be downloaded from our website www.gloucester.anglican.org From “The Messenger” www.gloucester.anglican.org

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From “The Messenger” www.gloucester.anglican.org

Launching into a new Life Thanks to everyone who was able to come along to the Life vision launch party at the end of last month. We hope you had a great time and were inspired by the opportunities to meet and celebrate WHILE SHEPHERDS DECKED THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT together. 11


Crib Festival 2016 I hope you will not be too exhausted to read this as you will all be working hard at the Crib Festival when this is published, helping with crafts, crib café and stewarding. I just wanted to express my sincere thanks to you all for your help and support. The Crib Festival has become something very important for the community and the committee wanted to continue the excellent work that had be achieved in previous years. I could not have done any of the tasks without the generous help and support from many people but express my heartfelt thanks to the Crib Festival Committee, for their help, encouragement and hard work. I would like to thank David for his support and encouragement. To Frank who has produced some excellent material for the website and to Michelle, Trish and Sylvia who work so hard and spend many extra hours. The committee and I really appreciate all you do, thank you. My good wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year. Liz

The Birth of Jesus – so what? Why do we still make a big deal of Jesus Christ being born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago? And what difference does it make to us today? Besides, what does church have to do with it anyhow...?

For followers of Jesus his birth is not an irrelevant event from the past but one that also informs the present – and our futures. Our basis for this rests on the holy word of God, the Bible, that continues to speak to us today and guide our footsteps in terms of daily lifestyle, values and practical outworking of what we believe. Church is for people who are followers of Jesus – his life, teaching and example. His birth heralded the arrival of a revolutionary new world order that is still with us today and continues to grow throughout the world. When he was born wise men found him – and we believe that wise men, women and children still seek him today – and find great consolation, hope and reassurance in knowing him and the power of his death and resurrection, which we celebrate at Easter. Church is for anybody who is drawn toward Jesus Christ and wants to meet with others who are also on the same journey of faith. They meet for praise and worship, and to learn more about God and his love for us as his children. Our Sodbury Vale group of Anglican churches – known as a 'Benefice' consists of four churches in the communities of Chipping Sodbury, Horton, Little Sodbury and Old Sodbury. Between them they offer a variety of services throughout each month, designed to cater to a wide spectrum of people of all ages. Some services are more traditional than others, while some cater to families. Our Storkies play group is for toddlers and their carers – mostly mums – and meets on Tuesday mornings. If you are interested in knowing more about Jesus and his Church, contact the vicar, David Bowers, or a churchwarden in your local church (phone numbers are on page 2) Frank Gray

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Sodbury Vale Benefice Regular Weekly Events Monday

7.30pm

Bell Ringers’ Practice CS

Church Tower, Chipping Sodbury

Tuesday

8.30am

Morning Prayer

Church Centre, Upper Room,Chipping Sodbury

9.15pm

Stor'k'ies

St John's Church, Chipping Sodbury

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

730pm

Bell Ringer’s Practice Horton

St James’, Horton

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

7.00pm

Benefice Choir Practice

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

7.00pm

Youth Club (age 11-18)

Baptist Church Centre

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Note: No Morning Prayers on Bank Holidays

Sodbury Vale Benefice Forthcoming Events 1st Sunday of Every 8:00am Month

Holy Communion at St John’s Chipping Sodbury

If you don’t see your event in the list above please let me know, once it is on this calendar other people can put it on theirs! All times are subject to change look out for further details closer to the date. Michelle 01454 325160 office@svbcofe.org.uk

Magazine Advertising Organiser Wanted Sylvia Franklin is standing down from the role and we thank her for the great work she has done over the years. As a result the editorial team needs a volunteer who will look after the advertising for the Outlook magazine. The job entails keeping in contact with the advertisers, persuading them to renew their adverts when the time comes and looking for new advertisers in the local community. If you are able to help please initially contact Michelle in the Church Office 01454 325160 or by email at office@svbcofe.org.uk


Sodbury Vale Benefice Calendar December 2016 Sun 4th Second Sunday of Advent

9.30am

Family Communion

St John’s, C/S

11.15am

Holy Communion {BCP}

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Family Communion

St John’s, O/S

5.00pm

Service of Reflection

St John’s, C/S

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s, L/S

Tue

6th

3.00pm

Meditation Meeting

Ring 327118 for venue

Thurs

8th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s, C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre, C/S

9.30am

Parish Communion

St John’s, C/S

11.15am

Family Service

St John’s, O/S

6.00pm

Carol Service

St James’, Horton

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s, L/S

Sun 11th Third Sunday of Advent

Mon

12th

2.00pm

Mothers’ Union Christmas Lunch

Tbc

Tue

13th

9.15am

Storkies

St John’s, CS

Thurs

15th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

6.30pm

Carol Service

St Adeline’s , L/S

9.30am

Family Communion

St John’s, C/S

11.15am

Morning Prayer

St James’, Horton

5.00pm

Carol Service

St John’s, O/S

7.00pm

Carol Service

St John’s, C/S

Fri

16th

Sun 18th Fourth Sunday of Advent

Tues

20th

2.00pm

Tea and Chat Afternoon

Church Centre, CS

Thurs

22nd

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s, C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre, C/S

3.00pm

Crib Service

St John’s , O/S

3.00pm

Christingle

St John’s , C/S

4.30pm

Christingle

St John’s , C/S

8.00pm

Christmas Communion

St James’, Horton

11.30pm

Midnight Communion

St John’s, C/S

9.30am

Family Communion

St John’s , C/S

11.15am

Family Communion

St John’s, O/S

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

24th

Sat Christmas Eve

Sun 25th Christmas Day Thurs

29th

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Sodbury Vale Benefice Calendar January 2017 Sun 1st Second Sunday of Christmas

10.30am

Benefice Communion

St Adeline’s, L/S

Tue

3rd

9.15am

Stor’k’ies

St John’s, C/S

Thurs

5th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s, C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre, C/S

Parish Communion

St John’s, C/S

Holy Communion {BCP}

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Family Service

St John’s, O/S

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s, L/S

9.30am Sun 8th Baptism of Christ 11.15am

Mon

9th

2.00pm

Mothers’ Union

Church Centre, C/S

Tue

10th

9.15am

Stor’k’ies

St John’s, C/S

Thurs

12th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

9.30am

Family Communion

St John’s, C/S

11.15am

Morning Prayer {CW}

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Holy Communion {BCP}

St John’s, O/S

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s, L/S

Sun 15th Second Sunday of Epiphany

Tue

17th

9.15am

Stor’k’ies

St John’s, C/S

Thur

19th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

9.30am

Parish Communion

St John’s C/S

11.15am

Holy Communion

St James’ Horton

11.15am

Morning Praise {CW}

St John’s O/S

6.00pm

Holy Communion {BCP}

St Adeline’s L/S

22nd

Sun Third Sunday of Epiphany

Tue

24th

9.15am

Stor’k’ies

St John’s, C/S

Thurs

26th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

Benefice Service

St James’ Horton

10.30am Sun 29th Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

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Celebrate Christmas with us Christmas Services around the Sodbury Vale Benefice At St John the Baptist, Chipping Sodbury Sunday 18th December 7.00pm Carol Service Christmas Eve, 24th December 3.00pm Christingle 4.30pm Christingle 11.30pm Midnight Communion Christmas Day, 25th December 9.30am Family Communion

At St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury Sunday 18th December 5.00pm Carol Service Christmas Eve, 24th December 3.00pm Crib Service Christmas Day, 25th December 11.15am Family Communion

At St Adeline’s, Little Sodbury Friday 16th December 7.00pm Carol Service Sunday 1st January 10.30am Welcome the New Year at this Benefice Communion

At St James’ the Elder, Horton Sunday 11th December 6.00pm Carol Service Christmas Eve, 24th December 8.00pm Midnight Communion 16

Dec-Jan Outlook 2016-7  
Dec-Jan Outlook 2016-7  

Christmas and New Year issue of the monthly magazine of the Sodbury Vale Benefice of churches

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