Diocese of Oxford

Letter from Churchwarden – December 2023

Joy to the world


It comes around too quickly for many of us. Already we are being bombarded by adverts for food and gifts. The competition for the ‘best’ Christmas advert is now a fixture in the calendar.

I suspect that Christmas has always been a similar event for traders through the centuries; an opportunity to sell more so that people might enjoy the event and celebrate with family and loved ones. And so, consumerism is not necessarily fuelled by the traders but is a result of buyers wishing to commemorate a very special event in world history.

For many of us, Christmas is about peace and goodwill towards each other, and these two sentiments manifest themselves with the giving and receiving of gifts and welcoming people into their homes. It is a time for friendship and reflection on the good things we have around us.

This is why, in middle England, we are conscious that others around us may not have the comforts which we are lucky enough to enjoy. Charities are just as busy as traders at this time striving to share peace and goodwill with those in need. Money cannot always fix problems for those in need, but if we can help in a way which suits our situation, then we should!

Bob Cratchit’s ‘small’ Christmas dinner was amply complemented with mirth and singing with the family and painted a picture for us of contentment in what they had, not what they didn’t.

The birth of Christ is the reason for Christmas celebrations. Faith, Hope and Love are St Paul’s message to us; the greatest of these is Love.

May December give you a time of reflection and a time for joy and love with family and friends.

And remember to put Jesus Christ at the head of the table!