Hello everyone,

It was so lovely to see so many of you at our Christingle Services and at Messy Christmas too. This Sunday, 16th December, our children’s groups are running as normal over in the Infants’ School classrooms. And there are two Carols by Candlelight services on Sunday 16th, we are planning to invite any children to come out to the front to sing the 1st verse of Away in a Manger at the early service, in case you want to have some practice at home this weekend!

Over the holidays we know that many families do go away, but we are very happy indeed for those of you who do stay in Bristol and are able to come along to any of our Christmas services.

Sunday 16 December

Usual children’s groups at 10.30am

Carols by Candlelight at 4.30pm with children singing Away in a Manger

Sunday 23 December

Joint Christmas party for Creche & Sparklers in the Garden Room with Belinda

Joint Christmas party for Connected & Connected + in the Parish Hall

Monday 24 December

We hope to see lots of you on Christmas Eve at 4 pm: Christmas isn’t Christmas without the Crib Service – fun and wonder for all the family, with little ones very much in mind. This year, rather than allocating parts, we’re inviting everyone to come dressed up in whatever they like:  angels, shepherds, donkeys, sheep, wise men. (There will be a Mary and Joseph already planned.) Grown ups are welcome to dress up too! All those who want to, will be able to take part on the day, no rehearsal needed! The service will last about 40 minutes at most, with Helen, Anita, Belinda and Shahne !

Tuesday 25 December

On Christmas morning,  some of you will I expect be woken quite early. Our short family service will be at 10.30am, with as usual, a time to share/ show any gifts your children have already unwrapped and are able to bring along to Church. Its such a fun, family time, if you have never tried it, I thoroughly recommend it. There is something so very special for us as we centre around the crib to remember the very morning Jesus was born and all the gift he is to us still today.

Sunday 30 December

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year reminds me of the time when the wise men were looking for Jesus and how we can all be looking for him to in our own ways. This year the children will have a teddy hunt around the Church, and all the teddies will gather around the stable as they also are looking for Jesus. If you can “lend” me some (not too special) soft toys for this Sunday service I’d be very grateful. You can be reunited with them after the service ! Then our children will be able to have some more searching for Jesus in colourings, wordsearch puzzles, play doh and toys in the garden room with Sarah Dunmall (one of our Uni Students who was a children’s leader last year) & Ruth McNeill.

Friday 4 January

Bounce into Church in 2019 is a joint Children’s & Youth idea, to gather our Church community and the wider community together in Church right at the start of 2019. There will be a big and a small bouncy castle, games to play, a trail to follow, clues to uncover, and coffee & toast on offer from 10am-12. Please invite your friends so they can step into Christ Church and find a warm welcome, toys, fun and maybe they too can start to make a journey of faith for themselves too. I am praying this first invitation you make may be the start of some amazing God conversations for you, as you reach out to those on your frontlines, fellow parents & friends, those who you meet in the school playground or at nursery drop off time.  It’s a free event, but there will be a donations pot for the toast!

And then, all our Children’s groups will be “back to normal” on Sunday 6 January 2019.

May I take this moment to wish you all a very special Christmas, as you share all the excitement of the season, may you treasure the moments of joy, share Jesus moments with your little ones whenever you can & may you know the peace of Father God resting on you all, especially if there are moments of stress, tiredness & busyness. In all the myriad of decisions you face this Christmas, may you know His peace, His joy and His love surrounding you and upholding you.

With much love

Helen Buick (Children’s Leader at Christ Church Downend)