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Advent and Christmas

Welcome to St Wulfram's Church forAdvent and Christmas.

Below are a whole host of services, information and music that you can join in with over the coming weeks.

Christmas at St Wulfram's 2020

This year, our Christmas services will be a little different.  Here you will find a booklet which gives details of all the services up to Christmas Day.

Many of our services will be broadcast on our Facebook page:

Parish Eucharists in Advent 9.30am, Sundays 6, 13 and 20 December

Choral Evensong in Advent 6.30pm, Sundays 6 and 13 December

Nine Lessons and Carols 6.30pm, Sunday 20 December

A Tale on Christmas Eve 10.30am, Christmas Eve, Thursday 24 December

Nativity Service 3.00pm and 5.00pm Christmas Eve, Thursday 24 December

Midnight Mass 11.30pm, Christmas Eve, Thursday 24 December

Parish Eucharist on Christmas Day 10.00am, Friday 25 December

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stwulframs/

Or via our website: https://www.stwulframs.org.uk/online-broadcasts

PLEASE NOTE: Due to reduced capacity within St Wulfram’s, we are asking those who would like to attend our Christmas Eve services and the 10:00am Christmas Day Eucharist to pre-book tickets.  All tickets are free of charge. Please see the calendar below to see how to book your tickets, just look for the 'Sign Up' button next to the service. We look forward to welcoming you.

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St Wulfram's Church Choir Advent Calendar

A Musical Advent Calendar from St Wulfram's Church.

The choir will be publishing a musical offering every day of Advent from the choristers, choral scholars, organ scholars and musicians of St Wulfram's Church.

We look forward to sharing our music with you and we hope you will love hearing all that we can offer in this season.

Our Advent Calendar for 24 December - Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas, and hope for 2021, from the choristers of St Wulfram's Church, Grantham.

Our Advent Calendar treat for 23 December, from our youth choir and adult members - their beautiful virtual singing of the classic carol 'In dulci jubilo' from our Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Our advent calendar for 22 December - please enjoy this contribution from two young members of our church and choir community.

Our Advent Calendar 17-21 December. We apologise that with the very intense work to turnaround our Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols virtually we have neglected the musical Advent Calendar in the past days. However, we have some beautiful music today - In the bleak midwinter by Harold Darke, sung virtually by the choristers of St Wulfram's Church.

Our Advent Calendar for 16 December: beautiful unaccompanied cello music from a very talented member of the youth choir.

Our Advent Calendar for 15 December is a beautiful chorister solo for today's Advent Calendar, recorded earlier in the autumn. The Pie Jesu from Faure's Requiem, creating a reflective space for us at this stage of Advent.

Our Advent Calendar for 14 December features the title pages of a video project the boy and girl choristers have just completed to be shared with the residents of local care homes. They have so missed singing in in care homes this Advent and have put a lot of time and care into preparing this video. Care homes etc can be in touch via this page to receive a copy - we hope people will love hearing the joy of our choristers’ singing.

Image may contain: text that says 'Christmas Carol Singing by the choristers of St Wulfram's Church y Wulfram CHURCH CHURCHCHOIR CHOIR The Parish Church of St.Wulfram, Grantham' Image may contain: text that says "A virtual and real outreach project to care homes, and for those in isolation or alone this Christmas. Carols were recorded remotely during lockdown, and in person in December."





Our Advent calendar for 12 and 13 December - this classic Advent voluntary, again contributed by our former organ scholar, Joseph Beech (sub-Organist of Durham Cathedral)

Our Advent Calendar for 11 December features the carol O come, O come Emmanuel, and is an archive recording from the opening of our Advent Carol service, with procession, from 2018.

Our Advent Calendar for 10 December has more wonderful singing from the choristers for the Advent Calendar today, prepared virtually during the November lockdown. Here they are with Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, English traditional carol, arranged by David Willcocks.

Our Advent Calendar for 9 December is an offering from our fabulous youth choir, A Spotless Rose by Howells, as prepared for our Advent Carol Services.

Our Advent Calender for 8 December is an offering from our former chorister and organ scholar Joseph Beech, sub-Organist of Durham Cathedral: J.S. Bach's Advent chorale prelude on Nun komm der Heiden Heiland BWV 659.

Our Advent Calendar for 7 December, as featured in our Advent Carol Service, a beautiful setting of Ave Maria by the Tudor composer, Robert Parsons, sung virtually by St Wulfram's choristers in lockdown.

Advent Calendar for 6 December - Hills of the North, rejoice from our Advent Carol Service in 2018.

Advent Calendar for 5 December - please enjoy this carol from our Festival of Nine Lessons 2018.

Advent Calendar for 4 December: beautiful singing from St Wulfram's choristers, achieved virtually, as part of this year's Advent Carol Service. Please enjoy!

Our Advent Calendar offering for 3 December comes from our long-term friends and colleagues, the Chapel Hill Duo, Sarah and Jaya, part of our choir family. Please enjoy this beautiful take on the seasonal classic 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire'.

Our Musical Advent Calendar, for 2 December - an Advent classic, J.S.Bach's Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV645, played by our wonderful former organ scholar, Matilda.

Our Musical Advent Calendar, 1 December - Philip Lank's Carol of the Advent, sung virtually by St Wulfram's Church Choir.

Diocesan Advent Calendar

 A group of curates, led by Revd Sherine Angus (Alford Group of Churches) and Revd Rachel Reveley, Curate at Lincoln Cathedral and the benefice of Branston with Nocton & Potterhanworth) have been busy producing a digital Advent Calendar for the diocese which features short (between 1-3 minutes) festive messages from Bishop Nicholas and 20 other curates from around the diocese.

Click here to see the Advent calendar.

Christmas Cheer! Support for Families at Christmas

Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God coming to earth to be with us, to show us the love that God has for the whole world and to teach us to love as God does.

For many of us part of that celebration involves being together with family, sharing food, laughter, and fun. However, this is not the case for everyone.

For some families, this time can be a burden which leads to debt, stress, and unhappiness. Following a donation of £200.00 a fund has been set up, designed to offer a small amount of financial assistance to families who need some support at this time. This will help to take away some of the stress, meaning that Christmas can be a time of laughter and celebration, sharing food with loved ones.

We would like to see this fund grow, so that families who are in need can be supported Christmas time from now on. For this to happen we are calling upon your generosity.  Please, can you help?

If you would like to donate:

Please bring your donations, cash or cheques (payable to St Wulfram's Church) to church marking them as ‘Christmas Cheer’.

By post (cheques only) to: The Parish Office, St Wulfram's Church, c/o The Rectory, Church Street, Grantham, NG31 6RR

or click here for the online donation form.

Christmas Flowers

Thank you for your donations and to our fabulous Flower Ladies who have decorated the church this year with wonderful flower displays.

Please click here to see the Christmas Flowers.

Reflections through Advent and Christmas

This year the Church of England Advent and Christmas theme is comfort and joy, something we all could use a little of at the moment! There will be weekly reflections throughout advent and daily reflections from Christmas Day. It is possible to receive these via the app or have them sent as an email to you. If you would like to sign up for this, please follow the link: www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/faith-action/living-out-our-faith/advent-and-christmas/comfort-and-joy

The reflections from Christmas day can also be bought as a hard copy booklet via this link https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/comfortandjoy

Other publications

If you would find it helpful to have a daily reflection during Advent here are some books that offer this:

Advent for Everyone a journey through Matthew by Tom Wright

Advent for Everyone a journey through Luke by Tom Wright

Advent for Everyone a journey with the Apostles by Tom Wright

Do Nothing Christmas is coming – an advent calendar with a difference by Stephen Cottrell

Let it Slow by Stephen Cottrell

Other books that do not provide daily reflections but are thought provoking and create the opportunity to reflect on the season of Advent are:

The Meaning is in the Waiting by Paula Gooder

Journey to the Manger by Paula Gooder

Walking backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell

However you decide to use this time of Advent, may it be a time of expectation as we wait for the return of Christ the King and preparation to receive again the Christ child.

Advent Windows

 This Advent we will not be able to have our normal Travelling Crib, so we would like to invite everyone to take part in a different project during Advent this year.  

As you may have read in the Grantham Journal, we have invited local town centre businesses to create a giant collective Advent Calendar. Alongside this, we would love as many of our St Wulfram's family to take part in creating their own Advent Windows at home. The idea is to create a colourful 'stained glass' type window in one of the windows of your home, perhaps depicting part of the Christmas story, and for you to light it up at some point during Advent. This might be for the whole of Advent or you may choose to do this closer to Christmas.

Once you have completed your window, we would love to see it. Please take a photo of your window lit up and send to laura.cradduck@stwulframs.com. Laura will then post a collage of the windows on the St Wulfram's Facebook page and Instagram, on each of the Sundays through Advent and we will include them each week in the Community News. We hope that lots of people will want to take part and that it will create a joyful, colourful witness around Grantham (and beyond).

The Advent Series

The Advent Series – Sundays 29 November, 6, 13 and 20 December.

Advent is an important month in Christian year, it is a time when we remember with anticipation the birth of Jesus and wait with expectation for his second coming.

We are doing things differently this year because of Covid-19 and the changing circumstances surrounding it. We are offering a weekly opportunity to explore four themes important in Advent; Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

Each week via Zoom there will be a short film, produced by the Bible Project, exploring the biblical understanding of one of the words and afterwards an opportunity to have a discussion. Each session will begin at 2.30pm and last about an hour. If you are interested please email Mel mel.parkin@stwulframs.com and she will send you the zoom invitation.

Advent Wreath

Advent is a time of preparation. One of the traditions we associate with Advent is the Advent Wreath. The traditional Advent Wreath is usually a circular garland often created from evergreen branches.

For the last few years, at St Wulfram’s, we have had a gigantic wreath suspended from the ceiling and the children in Sunday Club have often helped to make this or created their own wreaths to take home and share with their families.

The garland symbolises the eternal nature of God – without beginning or end.

The Advent Wreath at St Wulfram’s usually has 5 candles. Three purple candles and one pink, with a white candle in the centre.

The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday and then a new one is lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas.

Each of the four coloured candles represents people who prepared for the coming of Jesus.

The first candle, 29 November 2020, represents God’s People. This is the candle of hope.

The second candle, 6 December 2020, reminds people of the Old Testament Prophets who foretold the birth of the Messiah. This is the candle of peace.

The third candle, 13 December 2020, to be lit is the pink candle and this symbolises John the Baptist. This is the candle of love.

The fourth candle, 20 December 2020, reminds us of Mary. This is the candle of joy.

Finally, the centre candle is lit on Christmas Eve symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World.

Click the link here to view a simple Celtic version of an Advent Wreath that you could re-create at home on a plate, using the template and some tea-lights. Why not have a go at this or creating one similar to the wreath we have at St Wulfram’s.

We would love to see your pictures.

Email: laura.cradduck@stwulframs.com