There are no services in the church at the moment because of lockdown restrictions, but here are some future dates for your diary (fingers crossed):
Sunday 6th December
Informal worship in St Mary's, Berkeley at 10.30 am
Sunday 13th December
Holy Communion in St Michael's, Hill at 10.30 am
Christmas in Stone
Sunday 20th December
Holy Communion at 10.30 am
Friday 25th December: Christmas Day
Morning Worship at 10.30am
If you would like to enter the church for a moment of private prayer, please contact Naomi (details below).
At the moment All Saints' doesn't have a vicar, so for general enquiries please contact the churchwarden, Naomi Sargent: 01454 260376
For enquiries about weddings and funerals, please contact David Bainbridge: 01453 810049
A call to prayer for the nation
'Thought for the Day'
Sunday 29th November
Wait for it....(Mark 13:24-end)
What alerts you to the arrival of Advent?
Is it the purchasing of an Advent calendar? Or perhaps the multitude of adverts between popular TV shows nudging us and showing us how we can get ‘ready for Christmas’? But what does that mean?
Amongst the hustle and bustle to purchase the ‘perfect gift’ and decorate the ‘perfect tree’ and prepare the ‘perfect lunch’ we can easily ‘blink and miss’ the whole of Advent altogether, sleepwalking our way through it as we dive headfirst straight into the festivities of Christmas.
Our Gospel reading this Sunday warns us not to be found sleeping when ‘the Son of Man’ comes but instead to ‘Watch’ or ‘keep awake’ because only God knows the day or hour. It can seem a rather strange passage and was at one time referred to as ‘the Little Apocalypse’ because it was in the style of ‘Apocalyptic writing’ which was a recognised genre. Experts in studying Bible text have often discussed whether Jesus is warning of a specific event, and point to the destruction of the temple which came about in AD 70, or whether he warns of something way into the future. Whichever it is, one of the purposes of ‘Apocalyptic writing’ was to give hope. It sounds odd to us as due to high budget films we think of ‘Apocalypse’ as doom and gloom, but the meaning of the word is from the Greek (apokalypto) meaning ‘to reveal’ or ‘to make clear’ and so perhaps this odd passage with its genre of revealing something to us fits in with Advent after all. As we ‘watch’ and ‘keep awake’ through Advent we are waiting in the dark for the light and hope of Christ, the revelation of God’s love through Jesus.
Never has that message of love and hope been needed more than in 2020, at a time when things are not the same. If we ‘stay awake’ we will not miss the arrival of the ‘perfect guest’ who is coming for each of us. Jesus is the ‘perfect guest’ who doesn’t need to leave when the lockdown rules kick in again. Jesus is for life and not just for Christmas, invite him to stay and see what he reveals to you.
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Berkeley Benefice St Mary's - Berkeley
All Saints' - Stone St Michael's - Hill
During the next few months (depending on Covid restrictions) there will be a 10.30 am Sunday service each week in one of our three churches. Our Lay Readers, the ‘Eleven’ team and the Stone Leading Worship team have stepped into action to take the majority of these services, and we have priests booked for Parish Communion services. Risk assessments and careful planning to manage services have been done for each of our very different churches. It is a good idea to arrive early for a service so you have enough time to ‘check in’ - hand sanitising and finding a socially distanced seat mean it could take longer to settle in. You'll be asked for a name and contact number from each ‘bubble’ so we can assist ‘Track and Trace’ if need be. Don't forget to bring a face covering.