News & Events
Our News and Events page is updated once a month with articles from our monthly parish magazine, "Viewpoint".
The articles below are copied from the December 2017 edition.
The complete magazines for October, November and December 2017 may be viewed by clicking on the links here:
(NB you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your PC to open these files)
...from our Vicar, Rev. Jonathan Foster:
As I write, it is mid-November and the Christmas adverts are already in full flow. One chain of stores is claiming to put the “Merry” back into Christmas! Really? Had it gone? What was this “Merry”?
The word “merry” is often used nowadays as a euphemism for “drunk” – ‘slightly’ or ’very’, depending on the context. It usually suggests a connection with the original meaning of “merry” as ‘cheerful’, ‘jolly’ and ‘happy’.
So, when we wish each other a “Merry” or “Happy” Christmas, what do we personally mean? ‘Have a good time’? ‘Enjoy yourself’?
Many of the Christmas adverts convey that kind of meaning: ‘With our products you’ll really enjoy yourself’. Interestingly however, most of these adverts also include scenes of togetherness, with families and friends (often of different generations) mixing, laughing, chatting, hugging as well as eating and drinking together; playing games, walking in the snow, etc…, as well as exchanging presents.
What makes you merry or happy?
Christmas (literally ‘Christ’s feast/celebration’) marks the birth of a special person some 2000 years ago. His birth was announced as ‘good news to all the people’. His name, Jesus, means ‘God, Saviour/rescuer’. He was also given the title ‘Immanuel’, which means ‘God with us’.
‘God with us’! ‘God alongside us’: in good and bad times, in triumph and disaster, happiness and grief. What a comfort that is. But also ‘God on our side’: not against us, but for us - a father to guide and provide; a brother to encourage and accompany us; inspiration, wisdom and strength for daily life.
‘God with us’ – Jesus did not come to only bring us personal help. He does give that, he can indeed rescue each of us. He also came to bring us together to help each other. The core of his message was ‘trust me’ and ‘love each other’. He taught us to pray ‘Our Father’.
Christmas is a great opportunity for getting closer together: through cards, social media, phone calls, get-togethers…Why not come and join one of our Christmas celebrations here or at another local church, or join us for Christmas lunch (or tell someone about it who would otherwise be on their own) or invite someone round you don’t often see, or get the neighbours together…? The possibilities are enormous.
Because of Christmas – the birth of Jesus ‘Christ’ (meaning ‘God-appointed ruler’) we have plenty of reasons for being content, happy, joyful, even merry at this great ‘Birthday’ celebration. May we all find new ‘birth’, new life, new peace, love, joy, purpose and hope through Jesus Christ – a sure rescuer, a trustworthy ruler and guide for our lives, the supreme teacher and example of love in the world, someone who calls us together to share this amazing world fairly and peacefully.
With very best wishes for this special season and a truly ‘Merry’ Christmas, and for the whole New Year and world that lie beyond it.
NEWS AND EVENTS
The Rev. Mark Warner was the guest at our meeting on 11th November to speak to us on behalf of the Sailors’ Society. This is an international and interdenominational Christian charity which supports seafarers in times of loneliness, illness and other crises (personal and family), whether at sea, in port or at home. They do not maintain a chaplain in every port (an ideal which is more laudable, as one of our members remarked, than a port in every chaplain!), but do so in major ports throughout the world. Annual contacts with seafarers total 400,000 with 20,000 visits to ships. Mark explained that we might be able to help in the work by praying, giving, volunteering, knitting woolly hats (the latter perhaps more appropriate for the Craft Group?!).
Our next meeting will be held in the Church Hall on Saturday 9th December at 10.00 a.m. when members will be sharing reminiscences, customs and tips relating to the Christmas season.
Combined Choirs Concert
The choirs of the Church of the Holy Angels, Lilliput, and St. Clement’s, Parkstone, combined for a seasonal concert at St. Clement’s on Friday 17th November, directed by organist and choirmaster Jeff Williams. An appreciative audience enjoyed musical items with a Christmas theme which were presented by the talented choristers. Thanks to Jeff and to the choirs for an entertaining evening, and to those who prepared and served the refreshments. A retiring collection was taken to support work amongst Romanian orphans and £142 was donated.
Shoeboxes for Romania
Once again St. Clement’s has taken part in the Christmas Shoebox appeal, providing gifts for deprived children in the Hunedoara area of Romania. A coffee morning was held in the church hall on Saturday 4th November when approx. 100 boxes were prepared. When these were added to those prepared at home the overall number was in total 250, and these are now on their way to Romania. Thanks to John, Angela, Lynn and George for organising, co-ordinating and driving and thank you to all those who have given so generously. These gifts are always treasured and the children are so happy to receive a Christmas present!
100 Years of the Mothers’ Union at St Clement’s Church
In November 1917, in the midst of the ‘Great War’, which had already claimed so many lives, including dozens from this parish, a group of committed and faithful women opened a branch of the Mothers’ Union at St. Clement’s. At a time when so many menfolk were away, with great uncertainty about their eventual return and with no welfare state to give financial help, a group for mutual support, prayer and encouragement was warmly welcomed by local women and the branch flourished under a succession of able and dedicated leaders. The group still counts some loyal members of over 50 or even 60 years’ membership, a wonderful achievement.
It was fitting therefore that we should mark the branch’s centenary properly, and over the last year Rev. Mo Willis and group members have been planning hard. Their work culminated in a series of events in mid-November this year.
On Tuesday 14th November 34 MU members from four different branches met in church for a service of celebration led by Rev. Mo Willis. Many thanks to Jeff Williams for kindly playing the organ and to all who provided and/or served the refreshments.
On Friday 17th there was a concert laid on by Jeff Williams and the choirs of St. Clement’s and Holy Angels, Lilliput, raising money for poor children in Romania, a cause very much in keeping with the ethos and history of the Mothers’ Union.
At the heart of our celebrations, on 19th November we welcomed Rt. Rev. Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne, to lead and preach at a special service of Holy Communion to celebrate the centenary. We were also delighted to welcome special guests, the Worshipful, the Mayor of Poole, Councillor Lindsay Wilson and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Martyn Underhill and Mrs Deborah Underhill. During this service Bishop Karen was also welcomed into the Diocesan branch of the Mothers’ Union. Tea and coffee were served in church after the service and then about seventy people enjoyed a wonderful celebratory lunch, prepared by Karen Viney.
Many thanks to Karen, Mo, Lynn, Paul Wilkins, the choir, flower-arrangers, the churchwardens and all who helped in any way, including Jean Gatrill, assisted by Pam Broadbank, for the lovely display of Mothers’ Union photos and memorabilia from the last one hundred years.
The final celebration was a Centenary Tea Party on Tuesday 21st November in the hall where many members and former members gathered to celebrate and reminisce, and look to the future, as the branch will be carrying on.
If you are interested in knowing more please ring Rev. Mo Willis at the church office.
Advent and Christmas in St Clement’s Church
Advent begins on Sunday 3rd December climaxing with Christmas Day, 25th December. Special Advent events and services this year include an overview of the history behind Jesus, his ancestors, his times, his family and his birth - and why we celebrate Christmas.
Sunday, 3rd December - Advent Sunday
9.30am Holy Communion
11.00am Morning Prayer: “The Jesse Tree”, Jesus’ ancestors
6.30pm Choral Service
Tuesday, 5th December
7.30pm Concert– Poole Light Orchestra
Sunday, 10th December
9.30am Holy Communion
11.00am Nativity Service “The Greatest Journey” Pop-Up Nativity
6.30pm Evening Prayer
Sunday, 17th December
9.30am Holy Communion
11.00am Holy Communion
6.30pm Carols by Candlelight
Saturday, 23rd December
3.30pm “Christingle” Crib Service
Sunday, 24th December (Christmas Eve)
9.30am Holy communion
11.00am All-Age service
11.30pm Midnight Communion (no 6.30pm Service)
Monday, 25th December - Christmas Day
10.30am Christmas Day Holy Communion for all
followed by Community Christmas Lunch in the hall