It is such a great shame that the much-anticipated Beer & Carols event at The Cricketers has had to be cancelled once again this year, for very understandable reasons.
If you’re going to miss it as much as we are, why not pour yourself a glass of something and watch again our ‘Virtual Beer & Carols’ filmed last year (with new introduction from Will), and have a sing-song at home? Or share your screen on Zoom to enjoy it with friends or family!
Hosted by Revd Will Gibbs, with David Beaman at the piano, some dazzling soloists and members of our very own choir and congregation singing the carols, this 40-minute film will put you in the festive spirit!
And if you want to make a contribution to our virtual bucket collection in aid of a water pump in Tanzania, please do so below:
I know that many in our community are really looking forward to Christmas, and that after the last-minute rule changes last year, especially so this year. We’d love for St Mary’s to be a part of your Christmas celebrations and we can assure you of a very warm welcome.
Despite the challenges and sadness of the past year, I wish you a very Happy and Blessed Christmas.
Sunday 28th November, 6.30 pm
The Advent Carol Service
Our Advent Carol Service by candlelight offers a lovely way to mark the start of our journey towards Christmas. We are delighted that this can be in church again this year but we do encourage all who are attending to wear a face covering, unless exempt, to give reassurance all who are there.
Through a sequence of bible readings and beautiful music sung by our choir, we will hear again the story of God’s people eagerly awaiting the coming of Jesus, waiting in darkness for the promised Christ-light to shine. As well as all that, there will also be some of the great Advent hymns for us all to sing together.
Sunday 5th December, 5.00 pm
Outdoor Christingle Service
We’ve been wrestling with how we could hold our Christingle this year? Last year we were online but we are really pleased to go ahead in person again this year with a special celebration that will be outside on the church lawn. Please wrap up warm.
In the unlikely event that the weather is really bad and we can’t go ahead we will put a message out via our church website www.stmarysredbourn.org and on social media. But the chances are we’ll be fine, we can gather and all who want to come along are welcome. We’ll have lots of space for people to stand and lots of Christingles to share with you. The whole service will be a bit shorter, lasting around 30 minutes or so, but if there are any coming who would find standing for that time difficult then you’re welcome to bring along a folding garden chair. The proceeds from the Christingle service all go to support The Children’s Society helping disadvantaged children – so do bring some money with you to support this great cause. Thank you.
Sunday 12th December, 6.30 pm
The Lights of Love Service
Christmas can be a time when we’re all too aware of our bereavements and those we miss. We offer this short reflective service as a chance to remember in prayer those whom we love but see no longer, those we’ll miss at Christmas.
The whole service – lasting just 20-25 minutes – will be held outside in the Garden of Rest. Please go directly there and gather around the large fir tree. You may want to bring a torch with you. At the end of the service, we will light up our Lights of Love. These lights are sponsored in memory of loved ones whom we wish to remember at this time of year and envelopes, if you want to sponsor a light, can be found inside St Mary’s now.
Sunday 19th December, 6.30 pm
Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
In the lovely Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols we hear a sequence of bible readings read by different members of our community, interspersed with choir items and congregational carols for us all to sing – making this the prefect way to start our Christmas celebrations as a community.
The carol service will be held in church and by candlelight and will last about an hour. Although not mandatory, we do urge all those attending to wear a face covering unless exempt. We look forward to welcoming you.
Christmas Eve, Friday 24th December
The Road to Bethlehem, 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Our crib services are so busy that sadly we can’t do things in quite the same way we normally do. Instead, we invite you to a fully immersive walk-through nativity experience. Come down to St Mary’s on foot, or park up if you have come by car. Then head for Church End, to the churchyard gates, where you will be greeted by a special host.
And then every ten minutes groups will be invited to enter the church drive, stopping at various points along the way to hear again the Christmas story, to meet some of the characters and to sing one or two carols. Pause to wonder at the amazing stable scene finale before making your way out of the gates on Hemel Hempstead Road. Please do observe this one-way system for this event – for safety reasons the churchyard will be closed to all vehicles. We look forward to welcoming you and your household for this lovely time together.
Christmas Eve, Friday 24th December
The First Eucharist of Christmas, Midnight Mass 11.30pm
This service, often known as Midnight Mass, is an absolute gem and is really the first of the main Christmas services. We gather at 11.30 pm to celebrate the Christmas story of God coming among us in the birth of Jesus.
This is a communion service with the blessing of our special crib and face coverings will need to be worn for all attending (unless exempt). Whether you come to St Mary’s regularly or not – you can be assured of a warm welcome – for you and your family and friends.
Christmas Day, Saturday 25th December
Holy Communion, 8.00 am
We offer two services on Christmas morning, the first being the traditional Communion services using The Book of Common Prayer.
All Age Eucharist, 10.00 am
Our main service on Christmas morning is a Eucharist, where God’s people, young and old, gather together to celebrate the joy of Christmas with communion and a short sermon to suit all ages.
Face coverings must be worn for those attending either of these services. Our revised capacity is limited to ensure social distancing. If large numbers come, with regret, we may have to turn some away. We can minimize this possibility by encouraging you to attend the Midnight Mass or the 8 am service which are likely to be less busy.
Providing for those facing hardship in Redbourn this Christmas
There are many families and individuals in Redbourn facing financial difficulties this Christmas The Redbourn Christmas Hamper Scheme aims to lighten the load for those feeling the stress of Christmas providing all the food needed for the whole of Christmas day
We prefer to receive online donations, but if you would like to donate by cash or cheque (made payable to St Mary’s Redbourn PCC) these can be delivered to the Redbourn Community Group office in the Village Hall between 10-2pm weekdays.
2. Buy a Redbourn Photography Competition Calendar
To raise funds for the hamper scheme, staff at Rebourn Parish Council have kindly collated the calendar of photos from the recent photo exhibition
The calendars cost £5.00 each, though any donation is welcome.
Calendars are available to purchase from 28th November at the Redbourn Christmas Market, and from 29th November onwards from Redbourn Parish Centre, St Mary’s Church, Redbourn Methodist Church, Redbourn Primary School and Redbourn Community Group office in the Village Hall between 10-2pm weekdays.
How can I request a hamper?
If you live in Redbourn, are facing hardship this Christmas and a hamper would make a difference to you, please do get in touch. We would love to help you out.
There are a number of ways to request a hamper. Please return request forms as soon as possible. Due to the limited availability of some foods we need to start purchasing foods much earlier than usual :
Collect a printed form Forms can be collected from either:
Redbourn Care Group office at the Village Hall between 10am-2pm weekdays, or
The porch of St Mary’s Church
Questions and answers about the scheme
Is there really this level of need in Redbourn?
Yes. 2021 has been a hugely challenging year for many, and the effects of Coronavirus on jobs and finances as well as health and wellbeing have been far-reaching. Redbourn is no exception.
This scheme is aiming to help anyone who will find the extra expense of a Christmas meal and treats a struggle, and for whom the festive period looms as a difficult and stressful time.
A Christmas hamper is a gesture of goodwill. It will not solve anyone’s problems, but aims to lighten the load for anyone facing hardship this year.
Can I volunteer to help with the scheme?
Yes – please get in touch via the contact details below for more information.
Can I donate food instead of making a financial contribution?
We do not have the capacity to accept donations of food, sorry. If you wish to donate food, consider supporting the DENS Food Bank instead, leaving food in the labelled box inside the church, or at the Co-op.
Who is running the scheme?
The scheme is run by the hamper committee which is chaired by Deni Ennals, who has recently moved to the village from Sheffield where she ran a similar scheme in recent years.
St Mary’s Church kindly host the scheme by making their charitable status and banking facilities available to the committee
The Christmas Hamper scheme is supported by:
Redbourn Parish Council
Churches Together in Redbourn
the Redbourn Charities
and the generosity of volunteers
If I apply for a hamper, who will find out?
Only the Hamper Scheme Committee of 6 people will see applications, and they will be treated in the very strictest confidence.
Hampers will be delivered discreetly or can be collected if you prefer. Let us know if there are special arrangements that will make this easier for you. Your address will be shared with the driver if you are having a hamper delivered, but no other personal details.
All personal details will be handled and stored in compliance with GDPR and deleted in early January.
What will be in the hampers?
The ‘hamper’ will be provided in bags or boxes. It will be a collection of foods for Christmas Day for the household, along with other festive treats.
If you have any other practical needs over the Christmas season, please do let us know and we will do our best to help or put you in touch with someone who can. We want to do our best to ensure that no child in Redbourn is missed by Santa.
Do I need to provide financial details to prove I am eligible for a hamper?
No, it would not be appropriate for us to attempt to check people’s personal circumstances.
What will happen if lockdown continues over Christmas Day?
The Covid situation is ever-changing, and the scheme will be run in line with Government guidance at the time. You will be notified if any changes need to be made to meet Government guidance, but even in last years very difficult times all hampers were provided.
On behalf of the Redbourn Christmas Hamper Committee, thank you so much for your support of this important project.
If you have any further questions about the scheme please do not hesitate to get in touch by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07398 755 954.