Every church has its own pattern of Christmas services and events. At St Wilfrid’s we’ve long tried to cater for all ages and traditions to celebrate the real message of Christmas – God coming to earth as a baby to become just like us.

What might seem to be a strange highlight for me was our publicity. Robin excelled himself with designing our Christmas leaflets, which this year gave much more information about our services. Thank you to everyone who delivered them around our parish; this year we were able to give out many more than in recent years and I know that some people came to our services as a result. Our website and social media also had great impact, again drawing people who might not otherwise have heard why God loves them so much that he came to earth.

We started Advent with A Time to Remember, a short service for those mourning the loss of loved ones to remember them before God. This was very much appreciated by those who attended (as was the fantastic tea and cake that followed!)

Our Christingle service was busier than ever this Christmas. It’s not just the children who love making and lighting their Christingles. Graham King leading us in acapella singing is always a highlight.

December’s Messy Church explored the Christmas story, and Messy Carol Café on the Saturday before Christmas gave an opportunity for families to explore together in greater depth.

Our Readings and Carols service followed a traditional pattern, but our Christmas Singers and music groups always brings a twist that’s greatly appreciated. For something very different, Reflecting upon Christmas gave the chance to focus on the wonder of Jesus’ birth through listening to traditional and modern carols performed by our own musicians. Those who came along loved it!

Christmas Eve was busy, especially with it being a Sunday. Our Crib Service attracted many families, with children and adults loving to dress up as nativity characters. We again used the Bible Society’s excellent material to tell the story and have a lot of fun! The atmosphere changed for our traditional Midnight Communion, which even attracted a few pubgoers who’d thought it started at midnight – maybe we need a better title for a service starting at 11pm!

And finally, Christmas morning was celebrated by a joint 8am Holy Communion service at Holy Trinity, Blendworth and our very informal 10am Christmas Praise with communion. Last but not least, Christmas Lunch served by Jan and her amazing team for those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas day.

I hope that through the Christmas period you were able to think afresh about the wonder of the incarnation – God becoming man – and to worship Christ the new-born King. This is what makes Christmas so worth it!

Christmas – Why it is so worth it – Ian Snares