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Christmas Services  ***  Celebrate Together!

Second Sunday after Epiphany – 16th January 2022

Worship on 16th January

11.00 Eucharist at St Paul’s, Honiton

11.00 Eucharist at Gittisham

The Rector’s Christmas reflections are available to download below.
We also publish material for personal worship.

Reflection for Christmas 2021     –    download this Reflection for Christmas here

“It’s the greatest story ever told.”   How many times have you heard those words over the past few days?  I’ve heard them on the radio, on TV, in adverts, read them in magazines and books.  “Oh, Christmas – It’s the greatest story ever told.”  It’s up there along with White Christmas and The Snowman and all the other stories that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without.  And it’s just a teeny weeny bit better even.

Well it’s a whole lot better, an indescribable amount better – not because it’s more action packed, not that it’s got more jokes, more suspense, more romance, or any of the other things that make a story good, but because it’s REAL – and it’s about everybody’s lives, yours and mine and everybody else’s.  Beyond that, it’s very simple:  In a sentence it’s

God came from heaven to take on our human form to show us just how much God loves us.

That’s just about it.

Well, maybe there’s a little more, but that’s more or less the core of it When God looked at humanity and realized how dark and difficult our days could be, how confused we get about our identity and place, how many painful things we do to each other out of that confusion and insecurity, He decided to do something about it. And so after giving the law and sending the prophets, He got involved in a whole new way. Personally, intimately involved with his fallen creation.

But please notice: when God decided to get personally involved, He didn’t come to punish, or frighten, or scold, or threaten, or any of the other things that are sometimes attributed to Him. Instead, He came to tell us that we are loved, deeply, truly, and forever.

And just to make sure we got the point, God first brought that message embodied in the flesh by Jesus to people the world was pretty sure weren’t particularly important or, for that matter, loved: insignificant ‘nobody’ shepherds, an unwed teenage mum, astrologers practicing a completely different religion. All of this to show that God wasn’t going to leave anyone behind. That God’s message of love was for all. As in everyone, whether the world thought you were important or lovable or not.

And that’s still the way it is. God loves all of us, but God especially wants those who don’t feel loved or lovable, those who feel like they’re on the outside looking in, those who feel forgotten, and those who wonder what the point of life is, to hear the “good news of great joy” that God loves all of us.

Which is why I want to keep it simple this morning. Because after all the shopping and cleaning and cooking and preparing…. Or, for that matter – (and we sometimes we forget this side of things) – after all the trying to make ends meet, worrying who we’ll be able to see over Christmas – if anyone, struggling with fraught relationships, with Covid, after all the stuff that makes our lives a bit crazy, I think the short, simple, and peaceful phrase that we are of infinite value and worth to God is perhaps the simple word we need to hear this Christmas.

And if you really want to keep it simple, you could probably reduce the Christmas message even further, picking up the two words of the angels’ song that capture the heart of the Christian message: “for you.” Notice it’s not just that Jesus is born, but the angels say, “Jesus is born for you.” And it’s not just “good news,” in general, but it’s “good news of great joy for you and all people.” For while the Gospel is never a private word, it is nevertheless a very personal word, reminding each and every one of us that God believes we are worthy of honour and dignity and, above all else, love.

It’s that love that has made sense of everything we’ve tried to do together as baptized Christians this year.  It’s that love that has been at the very heart of every christening, every wedding, every renewal of marriage vows and every wedding anniversary celebration, every funeral.  It is that love of God in Jesus for you, for me, for every man, woman and child, that we celebrate today.

For me, John Betjeman summed it up most beautifully in his well-known poem, Christmas:

And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.

May you know the fathomless love of God in Christ for you – as for all people – this Christmas. 

Reflection for Midnight Mass 2021     –    download the Reflection here

ZOOM:  Worship is available on the internet using ‘Zoom’, and on the telephone, using a conferencing facility. 
If you would like to know more about joining in with either, please contact either
Revd Sue  (01404 42925 or email Sue) or Julia Barrett (email Julia)

Zoom services at 18.30 have restarted


click here for an order of service for you to use.

Because of copyright restrictions, we have introduced a password to enable this document to be opened only by our congregations. 

If you would like a copy and need the password, please email us.

Physical services have restarted:

Sung Eucharist – 11 am at St Paul’s

Places are limited and booking is advised – please contact the Parish Office if you are interested in finding out more or getting involved.

Also, see the pages for the village churches.

“Around the Parishes”

The January edition is here!

Download the PDF by clicking here

Future events:

This Saturday

Celebrate Together!

“The 3 Wise Men – A Journey”

St Paul’s Church, Honiton

Saturday 8th January
3.00pm to 4.30pm

An ACCESSIBLE SERVICE for all abilities with tea after!

There is level access from the drop-off point

For more information:
Cathy Maunder 01404 849299

Exeter Cathedral

You may also be interested in Music and Worship from the Cathedral. Link to their pages here.

Video material from the Diocese . . .

Our thanks and best wishes to Tesco . . .

From all of us at St Paul’s, A HUGE THANK YOU to Honiton’s Tesco store for all the support they have given us this year – the lovely colourful new mugs for our forecourt cafe, countless oranges for our Christingle kits, and a whole host of little things along the way.  Also, for keeping us safe in store and the shelves stocked in challenging times. 


THANK YOU!

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20210719_141956

Because of copyright restrictions, our downloadable documents are password-protected to be opened only by our congregations. 

If you are need the password, please email us.

We produced a Prayer leaflet for your use during the Coronavirus emergency. This has been combined with the simple form of Worship for use at home that we introduced at the start of lock-down. 

I encourage you to stop each Sunday morning at the time of your usual church service, and use this service, worshipping at home, but as part of the Body of Christ, and its local expression in your community.  I will of course be praying it in solidarity with all of you. 
With my love and blessings,  Sue

Download your PDF copy here

Resources to use at home

Celebrate Together Team at St Paul’s Honiton

Click here to go to Rev Ann’s pages where you will find links to all the videos.

Lots of love from the Celebrate Together Team.

Take part

Resources for children, families and young people

Exeter Diocese have developed a huge range of resources and activities for children of all ages.

Have a look at what they have to offer here

also there are some craft ideas here

In love for a world undergoing crucifixion and awaiting resurrection

Baptisms & Weddings

Weddings and Baptisms are now permitted with no specific number restrictions, and people should contact the Parish Office in the first instance to get the appropriate application form.   Once completed the form should be returned to the office when a date will be offered for baptisms, and hopefully agreed for weddings.

As with Funerals,  we are still asking that hands are sanitised on entry and that where possible attendees wear masks and use the QR code to register attendance. 

With Baptisms, because of the back-log from the last 18 months or so, the next available dates will be in February/March 2022.

Funerals

Funerals are now unrestricted in numbers attending, but we are still asking that hands are sanitised on entry and that where possible attendees wear masks and use the QR code to register attendance.  Some funeral directors are taking a list of who attends as a form of track and trace and/or for information for the family.

On this page:
Worship  –  Events  –  Safeguarding

The Honiton Mission Community seeks to communicate God’s love and to reach out to others by encouraging people through pastoral care, participation and worship.

The Churches in our Mission Community

Our Mission Community website

If you are expecting to see the St Paul’s, Honiton website at this address, then let’s explain.

The domain name “HonitonCofE.org” feels more appropriate to the whole of the church in the Honiton area. So we have decided to make this the page that will cover all the activities that involve and affect all the parishes and churches in the Honiton Mission Community (HMC).

Each church’s individual page(s) can be linked by:
 * clicking on the appropriate image,   or
 * by selection from the menu,   or
 * direct from your browser using the format www.HonitonCofE.org/{church} (eg. www.HonitonCofE.org/Awliscombe)

We hope that you like the result and we look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions on how we can keep this important resource up-to-date and relevant.

Sue Roberts, Team Rector
Charles Pegman, Website Coordinator

Clergy

Revd Sue Roberts

Team Rector

[email protected]

Julia Barrett
Licensed Lay Minister (Reader)

[email protected]

Mission Community Worship

Mission Community Events

Resources

Find out more about what the Church can offer for Christenings, Weddings and Funerals.

These are general presentations. When you are ready to make specific arrangements, please contact us via the Parish Office.

 + Christenings & Holy Baptism

 + Weddings

 + Funerals 

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is the responsibility of each church in our Mission Community.
Please see the appropriate parish page (from the menu below) for more detail:

AwliscombeBuckerellCombe RaleighCotleighGittishamHoniton

SAFEGUARDING in the Honiton Mission Community – Promoting Safer Churches

The parishes of Awliscombe, Buckerell, Combe Raleigh, Cotleigh, Gittisham and Honiton (which make up the Honiton Mission Community) are committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk to worship and grow in Christ safely.
Concerns about children, young people and adults at risk will be diligently and promptly responded to according to our procedures, recognising the sensitivity it may hold for those involved.
As a Mission Community (group of parish churches) we have adopted the House of Bishops ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ policy and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, incorporating the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. 
All our PCCs (Church Councils) have formally adopted this and signed a Safeguarding Policy Statement Promoting a Safer Church and a copy of this can be found on each church’s page on this site. 
We have also displayed the Promoting a Safer Church poster prominently within each church.
All those working with children and adults at risk have undergone safer recruitment, received safeguarding training and support.
If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to the appropriate contact for your church – see the list or visit the church’s page on this website:

You could also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at https://exeter.anglican.org/resources/safeguarding/safeguarding-team/

If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.

Honiton Mission Community Safeguarding

Parish Contacts

Awliscombe

Buckerell

Combe Raleigh

Cotleigh

Gittisham

Honiton

Specific parish contacts are listed on their respective pages. For general enquiries and to book Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, please contact:

 

The Parish Office
St Paul’s Church
High Street
Honiton  EX14 1PG

01404 44035     [email protected]

“Around the Parishes” is the monthly newsletter of the
Honiton Mission Community.

Download your copy here.

Site developed on behalf of the Honiton Mission Community by Peglets © 2020