The season of Advent is a time of watching and waiting, preparing for the coming of Christ.  His coming points us to the past, present and future: in His birth at Bethlehem, in our hearts and lives today, in judgement and glory at the end of time.

This Advent, therefore, the sermons will focus on the traditional themes for Advent meditation, the so-called ‘Four Last Things’ – death, judgement, heaven and hell.  These sobering subjects, of course, are all framed by what God has done for us in His infinite love and mercy beginning in humble birth at Bethlehem.

You can learn more about Advent by coming to an informal meeting after the Eucharist on Tuesday 3rd December.

Advent is also the beginning of the Church’s year, so a fresh call to prayer is timely.  I would like to suggest people try one or two resources to help us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 17).  The modern liturgy of the Church of England, Common Worship, offers the volume Daily Prayer with orders for Morning and Evening Prayer, Prayer during the Day, Night Prayer, the Psalms and all manner of changes to reflect seasons and saints.  There is also a volume, Reflections for Daily Prayer, which has a very abridged version of Daily Prayer plus a short reflection on one of the Bible readings set for the day.  Both are available from Church House Publishing.  Both are used in our own church at Morning and Evening Prayer, but can be used alone at home, as well as in a group, to form a community of watchful prayer – watchful for the signs of Christ’s Kingdom and so ready to move in His direction.

You might like to experiment in a group this Advent by coming to Compline (Night Prayer) at 9pm on Wednesday, our prayers shining as little lights in the darkness as we prepare to welcome the Word made flesh, the One whom the darkness did not overcome.

God bless you and yours this expectant Advent and joyful Christmas.

Mark Eminson – Vicar

Programme of Events

(All events take place at St Thomas à Becket’s Church unless otherwise stated.)

Sunday mornings in Advent (1, 8, 15, 22 December)

8am – Holy Communion
9.45am – Parish Eucharist

Sunday evenings in Advent

1st December 4pm – Advent Carols & Readings
8th December 6pm – Informal Worship (guitar-led)
15th December 4pm – Christingle
22nd December 6pm – Evening Prayer

Carol Services

Monday 1st December 6.30pm – Bognor Regis & District Cubs
Wednesday 18th December 7.30pm – Carols at The Bear Inn
Thursday 19th December 9.00am – Rose Green Infants
Thursday 19th December 7.30pm – Chichester Voices Choir Concert – “The Holy Birth”
Friday 20th December 9.30am – Rose Green Juniors
Friday 20th December 6.30pm – Carols around Rose Green Christmas Tree

Christmas Eve

5pm – Crib Service
11.30pm – Midnight Mass

Christmas Day

8am – Holy Communion
9.45am – Family Eucharist

Thursday 26th December – St Stephen     

10am – Eucharist
11am – Pagham Pram Race (Church entry –  ‘The Ten Commandments’)

Friday 27th December – St John the Evangelist

4pm – Evening Prayer

Saturday 28th – Holy Innocents

4pm – Evening Prayer

Sunday 29th December – First Sunday of Christmas & martyrdom of St Thomas à Becket

8am – Holy Communion
9.45am – Family Eucharist
3pm – Mulled Wine at the Vicarage
5pm – Christmas Carols & Readings

Tuesday 31st December

7.30pm – Supper party at the Vicarage
11.30pm  – Ringing-in of the New Year

Sunday 5th January – The Epiphany

8am – Holy Communion
9.45am – Parish Eucharist
6pm – Informal Worship (guitar-led)

Sunday 2nd February – Feast of Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)

8am – Holy Communion
9.45am – Family Eucharist with Sunday School Play
6pm – Informal Worship (guitar-led)