Advent and Christmas
The season of Advent consists of the four weeks leading up to Christmas.
For most people, these four weeks are a time of Christmas preparation, with to-do lists everywhere you turn. In the Christian church, we reflect on our lives and on our world and pray for God’s light to come into what can be a very dark place. At St John’s Church, a large and lovely Advent Wreath is made from evergreens, with four red candles plus one large white one. Each Sunday during Advent a candle is lighted as Christ-mas (Christ’s birth) gets nearer. On Christmas Day the large white candle in the centre is lighted to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Even before Christianity came to this country, people would celebrate the Winter Solstice (the shortest day on 21st December) defying the growing darkness with the lights of fires and candles. The Christian faith celebrates Jesus, the light of the world, bringing the living reality of God’s love into a dark world.
At St John’s Church we have a lot going on during Advent and Christmas, including a Nativity Play, performed by the children (at which gifts of toys are also brought, for needy families); a Carols by Candlelight Service, led by a choir; a Communion Service on Christmas Night; a Christmas Family Party; Carol Singing at our local Tesco Store and a Family Festival service on Christmas Day. “Advent is a shout of defiance” as people gather to hope in God and in goodness no matter how dark the world.
For specific dates and times of all our Christmas services, please see our services page.