Message From Our Minister December 2017

As a child in the outback we used to do odd things like spray fake snow on windows and send Christmas cards with winter scenes. I remember eating a full Christmas dinner in 45-degree heat and observing the traditions from “home” – even though my ancestors had not stepped foot in the UK since they had been victims of an unfair criminal justice system (transported convicts) or of their captors. 

I remember the outrage at the “surfing Santa” stamp which was the first departure from snowy nativity scenes on our 1977 Christmas stamp. While I was only 12 at the time I remember the endless news reports about how this was detaching us from our British roots.  

The argument now feels quaint. After the death of my great grandmother (a formidable matriarch who kept us in line) suddenly BBQs rather than a “full dinner” came the norm. Christmas became a much more causal affair which is more likely to have a visit to the beach or swimming pool than anything we’d do here. Now with the welcome influx of near neighbours Australia has left it’s “British roots” far behind and such as argument would seem redundant and a little silly.

Times change, and we need to change and adapt with them. This year we’re trying a few new things like Carols in the Pub, Carols on the lawn, a very early Cradle service and Hanging of the Greens amongst our standard Christmas offering. Let’s embrace them and see if we can reach out to our communities. Let's create new ways of doing things to reach people who would never normally cross over our church thresholds.

A Blessed and Merry Christmas!