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Les Routiers Café of the Year 2012, the Café in the Crypt is the ideal spot for affordable dining in central London.

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Notices for Sunday 15 December, Third Sunday of Advent

News St Martin – Talking Points

Changes to services during December  During Advent, there will be no Choral Evensong on Sundays and no 6pm Evening Prayer in the DSC on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays our Choral Eucharist service at 1.00pm will continue as usual but there will be no 5pm Choral Evensong services or 6.15pm Holy Communion services. The Thursday 6pm Holy Communion service will also not take place.

Advent and Christmas Services The full list of Advent and Christmas services is available in our whole site brochure for December and on our website. There will be no ticketing for capacity Christmas services: Nine Lessons and Carols, Community Carols and Parish Carols. We will be opening the doors at 5.45pm and as the church is often full do arrive in plenty of time to be certain of a seat.

Today/Young People’s Guide to the Readings A guide to the Scripture-readings, including word-search, colouring pages and crayons, is available from the Stewards.

Today/An Open-Handed Peace At St Martin-in-the-Fields the disability awareness task group have encouraged us to explore a new way of sharing the Peace. You are invited to join us in an ‘Open-Handed Peace’. We offer our hands out, palms upwards, for another to place their hands gently and carefully on ours, as we share the welcome of Christ to the other whose presence we value.

Today/The Advent Booklet, “Revelation in Exile”, our theme for Advent, written by members of the St Martin’s community, is available (including a large print version). With reflections for each day of Advent and Christmas, it is also available daily on our website. Suggested donation £3.50.

Today/Children’s Programme – C-Club meets after the 10am service. After stocking up on biscuits and squash, young people (and grown ups accompanied by children) are welcome to the Dick Sheppard Chapel for a 20 minute program of creative, embodied learning and prayer.

Rosemary Pearse RIP Rosemary, Dick Sheppard’s daughter, passed away on 3 December at Cheltenham General Hospital. Her son Richard sent the following message: “She was a great supporter of everything The Connection at St Martin’s does and treasured her memories of the St Martin’s Pilgrimage and all of you pilgrims out there. Many thanks for showing her so much love.” We ask you to keep Rosemary and her family and friends in your prayers.

The 87th Radio 4 St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Appeal Thanks to all those who have helped or are helping with this year’s Christmas Appeal. It is a terrific effort and we are deeply grateful to all those who give their time. The Appeal has now broken the £1 million mark, but there is still a long way to go in order to help the thousands of people who will turn to us for help in 2014. So keep hoping, praying, encouraging and giving! There is an exhibition on the railings of Church Path drawing attention to the lives of homeless people. Downstairs in the Foyer an exhibition shows how the money raised is used to help people change their lives through The Connection at St Martin’s and the Vicar’s Relief Fund. You can make a donation online at www.smitf.org/donate or by using the red Christmas Appeal envelopes, or write a message on the chalkboard in the foyer telling us what matters to you at Christmas. You can also follow the progress of the Appeal on Twitter: @smitf_christmas #whatmatters

Tomorrow/Mon 16 Dec at 7.30pm. The Choir of St Martin’s presents The Joys of Christmas, a concert of seasonal music and carols for brass, organ and audience, with readings and poems by Simon Russell Beale. Tickets, £9-£29, from the Box Office on 020 7766 1100 or at www.smitf.org.

This week/The St Martin’s breakfast group meets on 18 Dec in the Café in the Crypt from 7.45-8.30am. All welcome. For more information contact Caroline Essex via the Parish Office.

This week/Great Sacred Music, Thursdays at 1.00pm An exciting new thirty-minute sequence to speak to heart, head and soul, with Revd Dr Sam Wells exploring through reading and song the great classical music of our religious heritage. Performed by the St Martin’s Voices conducted by Andrew Earis. All welcome – retiring collection.

Sunday 22 December, 8.10am BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship The Coming of Christ as a Child: Singing Mary’s Song Today. Revd Katherine Hedderly leads the service and Revd Dr Sam Wells preaches, with music from the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as we reflect on wealth and poverty in the gospel, the world, and our own lives. Please join us in church at 7.45 to be part of the live service or join us listening live on BBC Radio 4 at 8.10am. All are welcome.

Crèche at St Martin’s For the 0-4ish age group. Next date will be Sunday 22 December.

The Meditation Group will not be meeting on Wednesdays 18 December or 1 January 2014. The next meeting will be Wednesday 15 January at 7.00pm in the DSC.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Malawi stall; baking, making, creating, selling, buying and donating! We raised an impressive £650 plus gift aid – so all your hard work and generosity has really paid off. This will go out to St Luke’s hospital, via MACS (www.malawimacs.org), to help them buy essential drugs and supplies. A quick update on last year’s stall – the money contributed towards a new maternity block at one of the rural health centres and construction has almost reached roof level! In a couple of months the women in the surrounding villages will have a proper, safe space to deliver their babies. Thank you all.

St Martin’s Voices are delighted to announce that their new CD of seasonal music, Christmas in Blue, is now available in the St Martin’s shop (£9.95) and on iTunes. The CD is the result of a collaboration with Will Todd and Brandenburg Brass & Festival Chorus, conducted by our Director of Music, Andrew Earis. Featuring jazz-inspired carol arrangements of favourites such as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Away in a Manger, Christmas in Blue is the perfect Christmas gift!

Carol Singing with The Connection on the evening of Monday 16 December at Oxford Circus tube station. This December, The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields are inviting you to come and Carol Sing with them. A staff member from The Connection will meet you at 6.30pm with Carol Sheets, T-shirts and collection buckets, and the carolling will last for about an hour. If you are interested, please call Sonja Ashbury on 0207 766 5555, or email sonja.ashbury@cstm.org.uk, to confirm your attendance. Many thanks.

For your prayers We will be praying regularly for the long term sick at our Wednesday 6.15pm Eucharist. Please remember in your prayers – Ralph Smith, Sibyl Allen, Susan Wolfe, Mary Henry, Allan Whalley, John Hovell, Jim Minchin, Anne Jordan, Zara Bowness-Smith.