We’re into the joyous Advent season again and we have a very busy programme of events planned. If you have been busily knitting little angels for distribution to the community please bring them to Church on Sunday, 15th December when there’ll be a Service of blessing and commission for them before they’re distributed throughout Chester-le-Street on Thursday, 19th December. On Sunday, 22nd December at 10.0am coffee will be served before a Community Christmas Celebration at 10.30am. At 6.0pm that evening we have the Traditional Carol Service. On Tuesday, 24th December at 4.0pm there’ll be the Christingle Service and then at 9.30am on Christmas Day there’ll be a Service of Celebration.

On Saturday, 14th December at 7.0 pm Youth Connection and the Drama Tree will be giving the first of two not-to-be-missed concerts in our Church this Christmas. Tickets, price £7, which include the cost of refreshments and mince pies, are available from the office. On Wednesday, 18th December at 1.0pm the Film-making Group will be giving their Christmas panto and afterwards they’ll be presented with their certificates. Please come along and support these young people with learning difficulties. Tickets are £1 which includes a light buffet. On Saturday, 21st December, Marjorie Vasey is hosting a Coffee Morning for the Activity Day Centre. Please support Marjorie and help her to raise funds for this worthy cause. Also on Saturday, 21st, at 7.0pm the Argus Singers will give their Christmas Concert. Tickets, price £6 including refreshments, are available from the office. On Saturday, 11th January, there’ll be an Afternoon Tea and Film. The film will be ‘Finding Your Feet’ starring Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall. Tickets cost £7 and entrance is by ticket only.

On Mondays, 23rd and 30th December, Neil, our Children and Families Worker, is launching the first meals of the Make Lunch for needy families project. We’re delighted to announce that this project has received a grant of £2,000 from the Barbour Foundation to help cover the costs. Lots of preparatory work has been done in the hope of making a real difference to the lives of needy children and their families. If you can help in any way please contact Neil.

‘IT’S CHRIST MAS. Remember why you’re celebrating’ is the Wayside Pulpit which will be displayed on the Newcastle Road side of our Church for the beginning of December. We hope to remind passers-by that Christ is the reason for the celebrations. When a family is waiting for a new baby to arrive lots of preparations are made. As the time for the birth draws nearer the excitement builds up. When the big day finally comes the family are so full of joy that they share their good news with everyone they know. Advent is the time when the Christian family prepares to celebrate the birth of the most special child of all. Nowadays, with the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, it’s very easy for us to be so busy buying presents and cards and planning family get-togethers that we forget why we’re celebrating. This Christmas let’s all pause for a while amid the busyness and spend time preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ into the world. Like all families, let’s spread the good news of the birth and, above all, ‘Remember why you’re celebrating.’ In the New English Bible we read:-
‘For God loved the world so much that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.’

The Cornerstones Management Committee wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year.

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