And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

It’s almost hard to believe we’ve reached the end of yet another year. And what a year it’s been.  COVID 19 has still affected so many of our lives. Rail and postage strikes have taken their toll. We have a utilities crisis and more people living in poverty than ever before and more and more Foodbanks are opening every week. Not to mention rising interest rates and higher mortgages and with the war in Ukraine we’re closer to a European War than we’ve been since 1945.  It’s quite depressing, isn’t it? All of these things threaten our long-term health, our livelihoods, our homes, our families, our communities, our mental health and even our faith. It could be a challenging winter ahead for all of us. 

The bright spot was the Lionesses proving they could ‘bring it home’ at the European Championships – we’ll have to watch this space to see how the men do.  I’m not holding my breath.

Of course, the most significant event of 2022 was the Diamond Jubilee and the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – rocking the nation, and the world. This year, for the first time in 70 years, the Christmas Day broadcast will be given by King Charles III. We continue to pray for him, and the Royal family, at this time.

Despite what 2022 might have brought our way, Christmas is Good News to each of us and is still worth celebrating as we remember how Jesus came into this world to change the way we live.

The heart of Christmas is the simple story of God sending His Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour.

But we all know the true meaning of Christmas can often be lost in the busyness of the festive season. May I invite you, and your family and friends, to celebrate Christmas with us at Emmanuel (or a church near you if you’re not local to Billericay) and put Jesus back at the heart of Christmas!

As you will see below, there are events to suit every age group and every taste throughout December. We have a new service this year on ‘The Longest Night’ recognising that some people struggle to celebrate at Christmas – for many different reasons. Be sure to book your FREE Christingle tickets online – to give us some idea of numbers – here 559676 (3.00 pm) OR 559677 (5.00 pm)  Please note the First Communion of Christmas starts at 9.00 pm this year.

Be sure to mark these dates in your diary and don’t miss out on celebrating the greatest Christmas gift of all.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas and pray God’s richest blessing on you, and your family and friends, this Christmas season and in the year to come.

Christmas Leaflet 2022

Christmas Poster 2022 (A4)

 

Christmas Poster 2022 (A4)

The Season of Advent

DECORATING THE CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS This will take place on Saturday 3 December from 10.00 am. Please come along to help decorate the Christmas Tree and the church to ensure it’s looking at its very best for all of our Christmas events.

BILLERICAY CHRISTMAS MARKET Takes place on Sunday 4 December. Saint Mary’s will be open for refreshments, Carols, short Advent Bible Readings, poems and reflections read at intervals during the day. We would appreciate offers of help to serve refreshments, welcome or to read. Donations of mince pies would also be welcome. For more information, please see Pauline Randall.

CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER We are hoping to organise a Christmas Day sit down dinner at Emmanuel, Billericay for those who will find themselves alone on Christmas Day. It could be those who live on their own or those who won’t be able to meet up with families on the day. The invitation is open to people of all ages, families included – though numbers are limited.

However, to make this work, we will need a number of volunteers to help set up the hall and prepare vegetables on Christmas Eve and volunteers who are willing to be available to do final prep and serve guests on Christmas Day. We would also need volunteers to provide a ‘taxi’ service to pick up and drop off guests on Christmas Day too. We expect to start around 1.00 pm and finish after the Kings Speech.

This is a really rewarding and fun event. If you are able/willing to help, please contact Anna Laughland on laughland2009@gmail.com