Not long now before the Christmas morning service and then the opportunity to pull up the drawbridge and hibernate for a few days!
Christmas has been the all consuming focus of the last week or so in a variety of forms.
Our Christmas Dinner to raise money for 'Crisis at Christmas' was a great success. Over 40 diners tucked into traditional fayre of turkey and roast potatoes, pudding and custard and we raised £225 for a very worthy cause.
The local primary school chose to gather around the bandstand for their Carol Service this year which was a great community event and of course the children sang out the carols with great enthusiasm.
With an assignment to turn in I took a day to visit London, have lunch at Bloomsbury with the Tuesday gang, visit the college and also get a haircut (cheaper at Mr Toppers than anywhere here in town).
The end of last week saw much of the country grind to a halt because of snow but our little corner of England appeared to have missed out until early on Saturday morning when several inches of snow covered roads and houses to create the popular Victorian Christmas card scene.
Up early as usual I had completed two large and almost a dozen small 'gatepost' snowmen before the neighbours in the road threw back their curtains. The grandchildren staying at No. 6 and little Lily at No. 4 came out to lend a hand and very soon nearly every house in the road had its seasonal decoration.
Treacherous, icy roads and pavements prevented all but the faithful and perseverent worshippers joining us for our All-Age Nativity service on Sunday morning but we were able to assemble a living tableaux with all the necessary characters - Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Angels, Wisemen and of course a doll in the crib.
To the twinkling of candles over 70 young and old brave souls slipped and slided their way into church for our Carol Service and each left glowing in the darkness with their glowstick gift in hand.
Our shut-ins have not been forgotten each getting a visit with the gift of a plant and the opportunity to have Communion if they desired.
We have also turned our thoughts to others by dedicating our Christmas collections to the work of the London City Mission which to-date exceed £200.
Christmas Eve sees us experiment with an 'It's nearly Christmas' service for families at 7pm and we of course will celebrate together on Christmas morning. (I hope to make the Midnight Service at the Parish Church too.)
As the snow melts away there will be little to prevent folk coming to celebrate Christ's birth with us. We've delivered over 1000 invites to local homes. Who will come we don't know but we are expectant...