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Rev Adam Pawley

The Rector writes,

Happy New Year Everyone! Here we are in 2016.

We begin with the celebration of Epiphany on Sunday 3rd January, which celebrates the first Gentile (non-Jewish) worshipers of Christ who came from the East and serves as a reminder to us that Christianity is not a Western faith but a faith for the whole world. Our average Anglican today is in fact found in Africa.

We end the month – with a fifth Sunday (31st January) – and so take opportunity for us all to worship together in Holy Communion in Hope Parish Church as we celebrate the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. (Do please note – this will be the ONLY service in the parish this day).

2016 will be a year of transition for the Hawarden Deanery, in which Hope Parish is within. By November, though more likely the summer, the Deanery will have ceased and we will have officially become a Mission Area.

At the end of November, Bishop Gregory in his Advent Address (included in this month’s magazine), continued to encourage us to “Unlock our Potential” and for us in Hawarden Deanery the focus and priorities for PCCs in 2016 will be considering, prioritising and implementing recommendations made by our “Transition from Deanery to Mission Area” Report that transition mentor Jennie Willson produced. You can read this report (and its 68 recommendations) online here: http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/2020-vision/hawarden-deanery-transition-mentor-report/.

Jennie’s report complete, a new transition mentor for the Hawarden Deanery has now been appointed to continue to assist us – The Rt Revd Stephen Lowe – the retired suffragan bishop of Hulme. Our Area Dean/ Mission Area Leader designate, Rev Martin Batchelor is currently forming a small transition/vision team of five from across the deanery who will then deliberate in conjunction with Bishop Stephen and the Deanery Conference in how we can best implement the recommendations made in Jennies’ Report.

This month also holds the annual week of Christian Unity from 18-25 January. There will be a CYTUN (Churches Together) Service at Caergwrle Methodist Church at 7:30pm, Tuesday 19th January, where the focus will be on praying for refugees. If you haven’t seen the December/January edition of the diocesan magazine Teulu Asaph too then please pick up a copy from within Hope or Emmanuel Churches.

Hope Community Library, you may have heard, looks set to close or become a community asset transfer (CAT). Castell Alun High School have very kindly agreed to open the library for 9 hours a week in term time. An informal group beginning to call themselves, “The Friends of Hope Library”, has begun meeting to think through ways in which the village can take on responsibility for running the Library outside of school hours. The group next meets at 5pm on Tuesday 5th January in the Library and you are welcome to attend.

Finally, a very big thank you to all who worked so hard to make Christmas, once again, so special in Hope Parish. It has been great to welcome so many, from across the parish. With a number of us having visited the local care homes or schools within our parish and welcomed some of the schools into our churches too, together with our special Christmas events and services held for across all ages, I estimate a conservative 1,800 people, have celebrated Christmas with us at some point in some way during the Advent/ Christmas season – which is fantastic.

On a very last note – some have asked where you can find the ‘Mulberry Bag Nativity ‘Advert – #MulberryMiracle – that I talked about at Carols by Candlelight! You can view it online here:
Link to advert I trust that as you watch it – you won’t forget! – “Does Christmas start with a Mulberry Bag? No! Christmas starts with Christ” – and so can the New Year too.

In Christ,

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