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Approach In The New Year

Dear All Saints and St Mary’s

The presents have all been unwrapped and all the wrappings have all been taken away by the refuse collectors. The various pot plants that we received all look bright and healthy, having not had time to be neglected. The cosy new pullovers have been packed away in the drawer, because of the mild weather we are having. The last of the turkey leftovers have finally been eaten. Only the tree remains to remind us of the Christmas festivities. It is at this point in the season that we turn our gaze away from Christmas and towards the New Year.

2023 was a year marked with wars in Ukraine, Israel, and Sudan. There were major earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco. Wildfires devastated the Hawaiian island of Maui and areas of Greece. However, there has been much good news as well. The Covid-19 pandemic is officially over. The election of President Lula da Silva in Brazil has seen a massive reduction in deforestation. COP-28 agreed, at least in principle, that the wealthy countries should help those countries most affected by climate change and that fossil fuels need to be phased out. So, what are we praying for in the coming year?

In society around us, the cost of living and the lack of affordable housing press on many around us. The strains on the health service, social care and education are becoming ever more pressing. International tensions are building with various nations vying for economic, political, or military strength. And climate change remains the biggest long-term challenge that the whole world is facing together.

This Sunday, we take a brief glance back at the baby in the manger, with the story of the visit of the shepherds before we start into the new year on Monday. What can the generous love of God that we see in the Christ child say about our approach to the coming year? What can the vulnerability of a baby say about the risks we need to take to make a difference?

We have a couple of opportunities to think about this on Sunday. As this is the fifth Sunday of the month, we have our benefice service. This month, this will be held at St Mary’s. in addition, there is Holy Communion at All Saint’s at 8.00 am. There will be no 10.30 am service at All Saints. As such, the Sunday services are as follows:


All Saints

Holy Communion (Said)


St Mary's

Benefice Communion

There are the usual weekday services this week with Celtic Morning Prayer on Wednesday and Holy Communion on Thursday. Next Sunday follows the first Sunday pattern with Creative Church at St Mary’s and Holy Communion at All Saints. In addition, as we are celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany next Sunday, there will be Holy Communion in the evening at St Mary’s. This gives the following services for the coming week:

Weds 3rd Jan


All Saints

Celtic Moring Prayer

Thurs 4th Jan


St Mary's

Holy Communion

Sun 7th Jan


St Mary's

Creative Church


All Saints

Holy Communion


St Mary's

Holy Communion

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who put so much effort into making Christmas special at All Saints and St Mary’s. From the Family Café to Midnight Mass, the light of Christ shone out through every person’s contribution. I pray that God may bless us in all we do together or individually throughout the coming year.

Yours in Christ


Mark Simms

Licensed Lay Minister

Benefice of All Saints and St Mary, Fishponds

31st December 2023 Email Notice Sheet
Download PDF • 1.27MB
St. Marys - 31st December 2023
Download PDF • 90KB

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