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December and new things News of the Church Family A Very English Reformation A View From the Allotment John Henry Faulk’s Christmas Story ESO Concert for the 10th December Classic Cinema – Stars Collection Point – Crisis Services and Rotas

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De c e m b e r 2 0 1 6


EALING GREEN CHURCH (Methodist and United Reformed) Ealing, London W5 5QT Telephone (020) 8810 0136 Web site http://www.ealinggreenchurch.org.uk/ Email egcadministrator@btconnect.com egcsecretary@btconnect.com Contributions to Unity unitymagazine@hotmail.com Ministers Associate Pastor Church Office Manager Church Secretary Church Secretariat Choir Leader Organist Communion Steward Unity Magazine Unity Distributor Ecumenical Officer Bible Reading Rota

Rev. Dr. Jen Smith (020) 8579 8114 Rev. Randolph Turner 0751 516 3431 Mrs. Sarah Hunter (020) 8810 0136 Position Vacant Philip Burnham-Richards, Hector Chidiya, Fleur Hatherall Mrs. Fleur Hatherall (020) 8248 6774 Mrs. Fleur Hatherall (020) 8248 6774 Ms Nora Masih Mr. Lee Horwich Mr. Peter Chadburn (020) 8537 1966 Mr. David Groves (020) 8933 8315 Church Administrator (020) 8810 0136

The Church Office is staffed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week between 9.30am and 12.30pm, with the exception of public and other occasional holidays. If you are new to the church, the following groups meet on a regular basis, either weekly or monthly: Afternoon Bible Study Monday Fellowship (fortnightly) Choir Practice Luncheon Club

Thursday (monthly) Monday Friday Thursday

1.30 pm 2:00 pm 7:00 pm 12:00 am-1:15 pm

Full details can be found in the weekly notice sheet You are welcome to come to any meeting. UNITY All contributions gratefully received. Please email them to: unitymagazine@hotmail.com contributions: Last date for contributions for the January 2017 issue Sun 11th December 2


December and new things

From Jen

Dear Friends, Welcome to the December edition of Unity Magazine! As ever, we turn towards the new church year in Advent: always, we begin again. Kindness, joy, light, courage. Recently I heard a good news story that really cheered me. Someone noticed a man washing at the tap at the side of the Methodist church in Hanwell, and went to speak to him about it. The upshot, a few conversations later, is that the church is opening for a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon for anyone who needs to have a wash and shower. I found out about this from a notice asking for donations of old towels in the weekly news sheet: what a simple thing, and what a good thing. Amidst all our laudable mission plans and strategic budgets, I hope we retain space for the excitement of the immediate experiment, the risk in mission: the person we invite to come to church with us, the conversation in the night shelter, the extra food after a pot luck meal. This is something Ealing Green delights it! Of course we plan, and work faithfully, and prepare, but I hope our engagement with the community around us keeps always something of that surprising joy of Advent. Around the Circuit this Autumn we celebrated the wonderful centenary of the Kings Hall, with over 400 gathered to pray and praise God for what has been, and prepare for the future, we hope in partnership with the Wesley hotel, the Methodist International Centre. These plans go forward. We have good news too that the Southall Schools Project and our educator Karen Greenidge has gotten access to work now in all the target secondary schools, and has started a network of groups of student `faith ambassadors,` promoting critical thinking about faith, and supporting students of Christian and other faiths. Karen is working alongside the RE and PSHE provision to bring a particular Christian voice in the curriculum, and to link the life of the schools with local congregations. We always thought the project was a good idea, but wonderful to have the schools think so too and make use of her resource. Look out for her preaching and promoting this work in worship around the Circuit, hopefully at Ealing Green! Friends, as the days shorten and year turns, keep your wits about you and keep courage and faith. If we continue to act from these things, the growth and development at Ealing Green will continue and we will delight in God, and in each other. Stay in touch, and please send news of what is on, or questions you face, for inclusion in Unity: people really like reading about real things we are all doing. Every blessing, Jen Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God's perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive this gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year. Joel Osteen 3


Letters and emails None this month!

News of the Church Family Please continue to pray for Peggy Allaway, that she will continue to feel better and be able to get out and about. We send our love and sympathy to two of our Church members: To Fleur Hatherall and her family, on the death of her brother Michael;  And to Elias Laichena and family, on the death of his mother in Kenya. She was over 100 years old and Elias was in Kenya at the time. Please pray for Fleur and Elias that they will receive God’s comfort and peace. We pray for those mentioned above and for all who carry the burden of illness and for their families and friends. We wish all our Church Family, and any other readers of Unity, a Blessed & Happy Christmas and a Peaceful & Healthy 2017. Gill Hatherall

Calendar Events We plan to have a Pot Luck Lunch, probably in January and a Barn Dance in February, but the dates have still to be finalised. Watch this space for further news and get your dancing shoes ready. If Ed Balls can do it on “Strictly”

Christmas Services Sunday 18th– all age nativity during the morning service, which is at the usual time of 11am Sunday 18th– Carols by Candlelight at 6.30pm Saturday 24th– Carol singing at the front of the Church with hot chocolate at 4.30pm, followed by Communion within the Church at 5pm Sunday 25th– Christmas Morning! The service will be at the earlier time of 10am Sunday 1st January – our New Year’s Day service will be at the usual time of 11am Gill Hatherall

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Hah! Retirement. As some of you know, and now the rest of you do, I am officially retired. At least I have left my work with that in mind. It wasn’t going to be that way, but as Harold MacMillan once said, in response to the question about what had most influenced his time as Prime Minister, ‘Events, dear boy, events.’ It was a series of events starting early in October which culminated in my last day at work being the 31 st October. So I am now retired. And that, apparently, is that. And what about all the free time I had previously (and hugely erroneously) anticipated? Well, it’s a myth. I am a bit fed up with the constant refrain from people who said that they found that they wondered, in retirement, how they ever managed to fit work in at all when they were gainfully employed. I know exactly when I fitted work in – it was in all the time that I am now being asked to help out here and there and do things that I had cheerfully avoided when called to the greater task of earning a crust. Now that working out where all the bits of pensions are to come from, at present a job in itself, is one of my jobs, I am increasingly finding that there are only so many hours in the day! It is, I will admit, nice not to have to get up at 0545, as I have for years. On the other hand, not having to go to bed as early as I did to have any meaningful sleep before the tyranny of the alarm clock means that I am still not getting enough beauty sleep – but then again, that ship sailed long ago. The extra time to work on producing a fully action packed no-holds barred investigative newsletter full of cultural and philosophical insights is not going to be easy, or even, if the last few weeks are anything to go by, possible, although I would refer you to Peter Baker’s piece on ‘A very English Reformation’ and the upcoming Ealing Symphony Orchestra on the 10th December as a start on the cultural side. But then I have my homework to do and the roof of the shed to repair and my pension to work out, all of which are taking way more time than I had anticipated and which are clouding over the carefree picture of the sunlit uplands I had, until now anticipated as my ‘retirement’. Maybe it will get more relaxed after Christmas. Oops, just looking out of the window. Was that a pig I saw flying by? I was looking for a Christmas story to make this month’s edition a bit more Chrstmassy and came across the one written by John Henry Faulk. I hope you enjoy it and have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. God bless you

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A Very English Reformation. In a few weeks it will be 2017 and the 500th anniversary of the letter written by Martin Luther to Albert of Brandenburg criticising the practices of the Church of Rome, specifically the idea that, through donations in cash (no credit here!), one could purchase salvation, or at least significantly reduce the time spent in purgatory. As the Rector mentioned in a sermon here in Prestwood a few weeks ago, this letter containing 95 theses was allegedly nailed to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg and is often taken by historians, both theological and secular, to be the beginning of the Reformation and the birth of Protestantism. Whilst this letter may be the most significant action in mainland Europe, here in England, without anyone noticing or even knowing, the wheel of history had begun to turn Many of us are interested in ecclesiastical, particularly cathedral architecture: go to Worcester Cathedral and immediately in front of the High Altar of St Wulfstan is the tomb of King John which is perhaps seen by many as the most significant item is this small but beautiful building. To my mind, however, far more important is the tomb, nearby but less prominent, of Prince Arthur Tudor (1486-1502), eldest son of Henry Tudor (Henry VII of England). In any normal family at that time, death at the age of 15 would have been unremarked and unremarkable, but this was, of course, no normal family. Dynastic betrothals and subsequent marriages were the norm among the great houses of Europe and, at the age of eleven, Arthur had been paired off with no less than Catharine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. Whilst this may seem on the early side, agreement to this union was actually reached when he was three and she was four. At that time, Henry VII was anxious to have some sort of strong alliance which would protect England from the French. So far, so (in royal circles at least), normal. The marriage, solemnised by the Bishop of London took place with some splendour in old St Paul’s Cathedral. The Bishop also blessed the marriage bed and their honeymoon night was the only recorded “public bedding” of a royal couple in the sixteenth century. For those readers of a sensitive disposition, I have not added this as a salacious detail but as a key feature of the plots that follow. But a few months after the marriage , Arthur died of “a malign vapour” still well short of his 16th birthday (and without children) which is where, again to my mind, the plot began to thicken and the religious turmoil which beset England for nearly 100 years began. Undoubtedly anxious to maintain the Spanish alliance, the younger son Henry was lined up to marry Catharine (only after serious consideration had been given to her marrying Henry VII - an idea ruled out because any children might not be legitimate). However, canon law based on Leviticus Ch. 18 v.16 (Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness) suggested that this was not legal although Deuteronomy ch. 25 v. 5 had a get-out clause(“her husband’s brother shall go unto her [the dead brother’s wife] and take 6


her to him as wife” ) - a levirate marriage. Possibly owing to some level of confusion, a dispensation was sought and granted by the Pope and the couple were married in 1509 when Prince Henry became King Henry VIII. All seemed set fair. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we know it was not. However, in the meantime (1521), Henry had been granted the title Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith) by Pope Leo X after Henry (paradoxically in the light of events that followed) had written a book which, amongst other things, defended the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. This was also seen to be a significant defence against the ideas of Martin Luther. Catharine was also a Defender of the Faith in her own right. Relations with the (Catholic) French had also been sealed for the better following the success of meeting on the “Field of the Cloth of Gold” in 1520. (To be continued) Peter Baker November 2016

Church Flowers – Appeal for Donors and/or arrangers Thank you to all those who have donated and/or arranged flowers during the past year. I am now trying to prepare the Flower Rota for 2017 but am very short of arrangers and donors! You are invited to remember any special anniversary, birthday or occasion for family or friends, by donating money for flowers on a Sunday of your choice. If you would like to give the flowers on a specific Sunday, please let me know as soon as possible. Occasionally the date clashes with a date chosen by someone else, but I will do my best to accommodate your request. You will not need to arrange the flowers as well, if you do not wish to, but if you could be persuaded to ‘give it a go’, that would be wonderful – it can be a simple arrangement – just a bunch of flowers is fine. The Flower Fund relies on your monetary support for floral decoration, Sunday by Sunday, to enhance our worship. Thank you for your continued support. Contributions would be welcome and may be handed to me. Gill Hatherall

Lots of Help Given. Thanks Many, many thanks to all who helped set up and sell the Players' costumes and props on October 29th. The sale raised £370. It was decided to make a contribution to the Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter which our Church will be helping to run in January. Several local Drama Groups came to buy and it was good to chat to them and swap experiences. One group impressed me particularly -- Impact Theatre-which works with people with learning difficulties. Their Victorian Christmas Craft Fair is on Saturday Nov 26th 11 am - 4 pm. More details from me if you are interested. Again, many thanks for a job well done! Helen

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A View from the Allotment The onset of winter slows down the work however there are always maintenance jobs to do; we have a very productive fig tree which is now 8feet high. It is planted against the shed wall and trained against a trellis; now that the leaves have fallen it is important to remove all the remaining figs that have not matured as this encourages the new figs to appear early next year. The trellis and wall had not been painted for some time so this was a good opportunity to spruce things up. And then re tie the branches back and lightly prune. Allotments provide brilliant and varied habitats for birds and mammals, besides the foxes which keep us clear of rats, there are mice, slow worms and very wide variety of birds. During the summer we planted some sunflowers which grew to over 9feet and had some extremely large flowers, once the flowers had dried out we put the heads in a plastic sack to dry so we could feed the birds in winter, hung over a rafter in the green house I thought they would be ready for feeding now, Taking the sack down the it was full of empty shells, the field mice (Mus musculus) had climbed up and had an aerial exclusive dining room and pretty well eaten or stored the lot, they were not the intended for them but their ingenuity has to be admired. Graham Dilleigh

John Henry Falk A gifted storyteller and former radio broadcaster, he recorded this Christmas story in 1974 for the program Voices in the Wind. Born to Methodist parents in 1913, he attended the University of Texas. For his master's thesis, he researched ten sermons in African-American churches and gained insight into the inequity of civil rights for people of colour. He later taught English at the University and served as a medic in the Marines during World War II. He was blacklisted in 1957, but with support from Edward R. Murrow, won a libel suit against the corporation that branded him a Communist. In 1990, he died of cancer in his hometown of Austin. The downtown branch of the public library there now bears his name.

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. 8

Dr. Seuss


John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story The day after Christmas a number of years ago, I was driving down a country road in Texas. And it was a bitter cold, cold morning. And walking ahead of me on the gravel road was a little bare-footed boy with non-descript ragged overalls and a makeshift sleeved sweater tied around his little ears. I stopped and picked him up. Looked like he was about 12 years old and his little feet were blue with the cold. He was carrying an orange. And he got in and had the brightest blue eyes one ever saw. And he turned a bright smile on my face and says, "I'm-a going down the road about two miles to my cousins. I want to show him my orange old Santa Claus brought me." But I wasn't going to mention Christmas to him because I figured he came from a family — the kind that don't have Christmas. But he brought it up himself. He said, "Did old Santa Claus come to see you, Mister?" And I said, "Yes. We had a real nice Christmas at our house and I hope you had the same." He paused for a moment, looked at me. And then with all the sincerity in the world said, "Mister, we had the wonderfulest Christmas in the United States down to our place. Lordy, it was the first one we ever had had there. See, we never do have them out there much. Don't notice when Christmastime comes. We heared about it, but never did have one 'cause — well, you know, it's just papa says that old Santa Claus — papa hoorahs a lot and said old Santa Claus was scared to bring his reindeer down into our section of the county because folks down there so hard up that they liable to catch one of his reindeer and butcher him for meat. But just several days before Christmas, a lady come out from town and she told all the families through there, our family, too, that they was — old Santa Claus was come in town to leave some things for us and if papa'd go in town, he could get some Christmastime for all of us. And papa hooked up the mule and wagon. He went in town. But he told us children, said, "Now don't ya'll get all worked up and excited because there might not be nothing to this yarn that lady told." And—but, shucks, she hadn't got out of sight up the lane there till we was done awatching for him to come back. We couldn't get our minds on nothing else, you know. And mama, she'd come to the door once in a while and say, "Now ya'll quit that looking up the lane because papa told you there might not be nothing." And — but long about the middle of the afternoon, well, we heared the team a-jangling harness a-coming and we ran out in the front yard, and Ernie, my little brother, called out and said, "Yonder come papa." And here come them mules just in a big trot, you know, and papa standing upright in the bed of that wagon holding two big old chickens, all the feathers picked off. And he was just yelling, "Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas." And the team stopped right in front of the gate. And all us children just went a-swarming out there like a flock of chichis, you know, and just a-crawling over that wagon and a-looking in. And, Mister, I wish you could have seen what was in that wagon. It's bags of stripety candy and apples and oranges and sacks of flour and some real coffee, you know, and just all tinselly and pretty and we couldn't say nothing. Just kind of 9


held our breath and looked at it, you know. And papa standing there just waving them two chickens, a-yelling, "Merry Christmas to you. Merry Christmas to you," and a-laughing that big old grin on his face. And mama, she come a-hurrying out with the baby in her arms, you know. And when she looked in that wagon, she just stopped, and then papa, he dropped them two chickens and reached and caught the baby out of her arms, you know, and held him up and said, "Merry Christmas to you, Santa Claus." And baby, little old Alvie Lee, he just laughed like he knowed it was Christmas, too, you know. And mama, she started telling us the name of all of them nuts. They wasn't just peanuts. They was — she had names for all of them. She — mama knows a heap of things like that. She'd seen that stuff before, you know? And we was, all of us, just a-chattering and a-going on at the same time, us young'uns, a-looking in there. And all of a sudden, we heared papa call out, "Merry Christmas to you, Sam Jackson." And we stopped and looked. And here comes Sam Jackson a-leading that old cripple-legged mule of his up the lane. And papa said, "Sam Jackson, did you get in town to get some Christmas this year?" Sam Jackson, you know, he sharecrops over there across the creek from our place. And he shook his head and said, "Well, no, sir, Mister. Well, I didn't go in town. I heared about that, but I didn't know it was for colored folks, too. I thought it was just for you white families." All of a sudden, none of us children were saying nothing. Papa, he looked down at mama and mama looked up at him and they didn't say nothing, like they don't a heap of times, but they know what the other one's a-thinking. They're like that, you know. And all of a sudden, papa, he broke out in a big grin again. He said, "Dad-blame-it, Sam Jackson, it's a sure a good thing you come by here. Lord have mercy, I liked to forgot. Old Santa Claus would have me in court if he heared about this. The last thing he asked me if I lived out here near you. Said he hadn't seen you around and said he wanted me to bring part of this out here to you and your family, your woman and your children." Well, sir, Sam Jackson, he broke out in a big grin. Papa says, "I'll tell you what to do. You get your wife and children and you come down here tomorrow morning. It's going to be Christmastime all day long. Come early and stay late." Sam Jackson said, "You reckon?" And mama called out to him and said, "Yes, and you tell your wife to be sure and bring some pots and pans because we're going to have a heap of cookin' to do and I ain't sure I've got enough to take care of all of it." Well, sir, old Sam Jackson, he started off a-leading that mule up the lane in a full trot, you know, and he was a-heading home to get the word to his folks and his children, you know. And next morning, it just — you remember how it was yesterday morning, just rosy red and looked like Christmastime. It was cold, but you didn't notice the cold, you know, when the sun just come up, just all rosy red. And us young'uns were all out of bed before daylight seemed like, just running in the kitchen and smelling and looking. And it was all there sure enough. And here come Sam Jackson and his team and his wife and his five young'uns in there. And they's all lookin' over the edge. And we run out and yelled, "Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas." And papa said, "Christmas gift to you, Sam Jackson. Ya'll come on in." And they come 10


in and mama and Sister Jackson, they got in the kitchen and they started acooking things up. And us young'uns started playing Christmastime. And it's a lot of fun, you know. We'd just play Christmas Gift with one another and run around and around the house and just roll in the dirt, you know, and then we started playing Go Up To The Kitchen Door And Smell. And we'd run up and smell inside that kitchen door where mama and Sister Jackson was a-cooking at, and then we'd just die laughing and roll in the dirt, you know, and go chasing around and playing Christmas Gift. And we played Christmastime till we just wore ourselves out. And papa and Sam Jackson—they put a table up and put some sheets over it, some boards up over some sawhorses. And everybody had a place, even the baby. And mama and Sister Jackson said, "Well, now it's ready to come on in. We're going to have Christmas dinner." And I sit right next to Willy Jackson, you know, and he just rolled his eyes at me and I'd roll mine at him. And we'd just die laughing, you know, and there was an apple and an orange and some stripety candy at everybody's place. And that was just dessert, see. That wasn't the real Christmas dinner. Mama and them had done cooked that up. And they just had it spread up and down the table. And so papa and Sam Jackson, they'd been sitting on the front porch and they come in. Papa, he sit at one end of the table, Sam Jackson sit at the other. And it was just a beautiful table like you never had seen. And I didn't know nothing could ever look like that and smell that good, you know. And Sam Jackson, you know, he's real black and he had on that white clean shirt of his and then them overalls. Everything had been washed and was real clean. Papa, he said, "Brother Jackson, I believe you're a deacon in the church. I ain't much of a church man myself, but I believe you're a deacon. Maybe you'd be willing to give grace." Well, Sam Jackson, he stood up there and his hands is real big and he kind of held onto the side of the table, you know. But he didn't bow his head like a heap of folks do when they're saying the blessing. He just looked up and smiled. And he said, "Lord, I hope you having as nice a Christmas up there with your angels as we're having down here because it sure is Christmastime down here. And I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you, Lord. Like I say, Mister, I believe that was the wonderfulest Christmas in the United States of America."'

I wrapped my Christmas presents early this year, but I used the wrong paper. The paper I used said 'Happy Birthday' on it. I didn't want to waste it so I just wrote 'Jesus' on it. Demetri Martin 11


ESO Concert 10th December

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Classic Cinema Club Ealing

Ealing Town Hall Fridays 7:30pm

December continues the extended series looking at the people in front of the camera, pictured in posters, and then shone onto screens, focusing on the favoured few that make it big. What about them attracts an audience to turn out for their movies, and demand to see more? Friday 2nd December Carmen Jones 1954 Director Otto Preminger Starring Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina, Bess - a woman with a disreputable history - tries to break free from her brutish lover Crown after he becomes wanted for murder. The only person willing to overlook her past and offer her shelter is the crippled Porgy. Their relationship is threatened by the disapproval of the townspeople, the presence of her old drug supplier Sportin' Life - and the threatened return of Crown. Friday 9th December Paths of Glory 1957 Director Stanley Kubrick Starring Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou Arguably a masterpiece, showing the futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI as a unit commander in the French army must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back under fire in an impossible attack. Friday 16th December Jour de Fete Directed by Jacques Tati Starring Jacques Tati

1949

Once a year the fair comes to the little town 'Sainte-Severesur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. Some 'friends' persuade him to watch a short-movie in a tent on the US postal service. He doesn’t have the equipment used in the movie but determines to revolutionise his methods in line with the movie with amusing results.. Friday 23rd December No screening th Friday 30 December No screening back on January 6th If, on a Friday evening, you have the time, please consider coming to the Town Hall for what will be, I am sure, an enjoyable and interesting evening. 13


Our main collection for December is, as always, to be donated to Crisis. The Christmas day collection will be for Action for Children. What is homelessness and how many people are homeless? Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society. After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. However, it is likely that homelessness will increase yet further, as the delayed effects of the economic downturn, cuts to housing benefit and other reforms all start to bite. Homelessness: causes and consequences People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and overlapping reasons and solving homelessness is about much more than putting a roof over people's heads. Many homeless people face a number of issues in addition to, but often compounded by, their homelessness. The isolation and destructive nature of homelessness means that homeless people find it difficult to access the help they need. There is no national figure for how many people are homeless across the UK. This is because homelessness is recorded differently in each nation and because many homeless people do not show up in official statistics at all. Rough sleeping At worst, homelessness can mean sleeping rough on the streets. Jacob’s story Jacob was 19 when he left home. Out of touch with his mother, and with an abusive father, he knew he had to get away. For a while he slept in a friend’s car, but when he lost his job and the money ran out, the streets were the only place left. Out on the streets in the winter weather, Jacob struggled to find safety and shelter. “It’s pretty hard to find somewhere 14


with four walls and a roof, so you don’t get wet," he remembers. So I just ended up sleeping on stairs.” After a few weeks, Jacob was feeling desperate — but then he heard about Crisis. At Crisis at Christmas he got a bed, good food and company, and lots of encouragement and support. “When someone walks past, they smile, say hi. They’re so nice! Outside no one really notices you.” Dan’s story I've needed support from benefits because I was out of work for two years. I've worked all my life apart from then and was applying for jobs all that time – everything from admin roles to basic manual jobs – but it was extremely difficult to get anything. The flat I was living in was mostly being paid for by housing benefit but I had to top the rent up from my Jobseekers' Allowance. After bills I didn't have much left to live off. Eventually I had to move out and live on a bed settee in a friend's office. Without this support I would be on the streets. During those two years I relied on benefits, but I can't say it fulfilled all my needs. It's alarming to think where I'd be without it though. Fortunately, I am now working in a mail sorting office. In 2015 Government statistics showed that 3,569 people slept rough on any one night across England - this is over double the number counted in 2010. Local agencies report 8,096 people slept rough in London alone throughout 2015/16 - A six per cent rise on the previous year, and more than double the figure of 3,673 in 2009/10 However, the problem of homelessness is much bigger than that of rough sleeping. In England:  114,790 households applied to their local authority for homelessness assistance in 2015/16, an 11 per cent rise since 2010/11.  57,750 households were accepted as homeless and in 'priority need' - a six per cent rise on 2014/15. If you don't have dependent children (known as ‘single homelessness') and you are not deemed to be more vulnerable than other homeless people, you probably won't be entitled to housing. Please give generously. 15


December Rotas December

Preacher

Reader

Prayers

Communion Stewards IF, CH, GH, VJ

4th

11.00 am

Jennifer Smith

Pat Sucher

Helen Harper

11th

11.00 am

Marion McNeill

Yvonne Moyo

Colin Hatherall

18th 11.00 am Peter Chadburn Jennifer Smith Helen Harper 18th 6.00 pm Jennifer Smith Carols by Candlelight th 24 4.30 pm Carol singing and hot chocolate followed by Communion st 25 11:00 am Vera Marston Jennifer Smith Elspeth Singleton Note: Could we have some volunteers for the Coffee Rota. All help is welcome - and it would be nice to see other faces behind the counter (no offence to those who already volunteer).

Readers Jan 2017

Reader

February

Reader

1st 8th 15th 22nd 29th

Janette Pender Ron Honor Christine Edwards Charles Kenny Pat Sucher

5th 12th 19th 26th

Alicia Mayo Elspeth Singleton Charles Kenny Janette Pender

There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart - and our neighbours as ourselves. 16 Thomas S. Monson


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