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Notices for Sundays 20 and 27 December, the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the First Sunday of Christmas

News St Martin – Talking Points

Advent and Christmas Services The full list of Advent & 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 and Parish Carols. Due to popular demand we will be holding two Parish Carol services on Christmas Eve at 4.30pm & 7.00pm. The Crib Service on Christmas Eve will be at the earlier time of 1.30pm. Doors open 45 mins before the services start and as the church is often full we encourage you to arrive in plenty of time to be certain of a seat.

Thanks! A big thank you to everyone who has helped with our services during Advent and Christmas by singing, playing, reading, stewarding, in preparing the church and in lots of other ways. All your efforts are hugely appreciated. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Children’s Programme – C Club meets after the 10am service on 20 December in the Dick Sheppard Chapel for Christmas Nativity rehearsals and festive merriment! There will be no C-Club running on Sunday 27 December. On Sunday 3 January 2016, the first Sunday of the month, C-Club will meet from 9.30–9.55 am before the service at 6 St. Martin’s Place, to launch an exciting New Year project. Happy Christmas from C-Club to all!

Crèche at St Martin’s, Sunday 20 Dec, for the 0-4 age group, with trained childcare leaders, takes place in the Austen Williams Room. Please ask a steward to show you where to go. There is no creche next Sunday, 27 December. Creche resumes on Sunday 3 January.

Christmas Flowers On Sunday 20 December there will be a collection for the flowers to decorate the church at Christmas. If you would like to make a donation please see Cathy Miller at the end of the 10am service today.

On Sunday 20 December there will be a Cake Stall at the after service Coffee Break. It will be run by the Pilgrimage in support of the Connection’s invaluable work for homeless people at Christmas. Please bring or buy cakes, pastries etc.

The Christmas Dinner of the Sunday International Group is on Sunday 20 December. Thank you to all those who have so generously supported us across St Martin’s in the last year.

We are pleased to announce that the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields is already over the £1.1million mark. Thank you to all our volunteers who have answered calls and opened mountains of post. You can listen again to Sam’s Appeal at charity.stmartin-in-the-fields.org.

@OurCofeE/This Week from 21-27 December Katherine Hedderly will be the host for the Church of England’s Twitter project, that tells the story of the church through the eyes of its communities around the country. She will be tweeting about St Martin’s each day. Do follow @OurCofE and re-tweet to share the life of St Martin’s at Christmas far and wide.

The Meditation Group meets on Tuesday 22 December at 6.30pm in the DSC. The meditation group meets on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month.

The St Martin’s Breakfast Group meets 7.45-8.30am, 23 December in Café in the Crypt. All welcome. Contact Caroline Essex or Dan Kaszeta via the Parish Office.

Healing at St Martin’s St Martin’s holds over 20 healing services a year, yet this vital ministry is not well understood. If you would like to learn more about the theology and the practicality of the laying on of hands and anointing, or if you feel called to this ministry, please mark your diaries for 12-1.30pm on Sunday 10 January. Sam Wells will speak, and members of the Healing Team will talk about their experiences. If you are interested, please contact Will Morris (william.morris@smitf.org) so that he can send you some (short!) reading material.

Open Circle (a friendly group in our 20s, 30s and beyond): application forms for our popular annual retreat are now available – email Andrew.Bennison@smitf.org for a copy. We will be returning to Hilfield Friary in Dorset on 22-24 January 2015, to explore the theme of ‘Life Together’. Cost £90 for the weekend. Spaces limited.

Fri 26–Sun 28 Feb 2016 The Silent Retreat “Paying Attention” will take place at the beautiful Chelmsford Diocese Retreat House, Pleshey, led by Revd Katherine Hedderly and Revd Jonathan Evens and we will be exploring through art the theme from the Christmas Appeal in relation to prayer inspired by Simone Weil’s words: Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love. Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer. The retreat is open to members of the St Martin’s and St Stephen Walbrook communities. Application forms will be available in church from the beginning of January. The cost of the weekend is £144. For more information please speak to Katherine Hedderly 020 7766 1102 katherine.hedderly@smitf.org

Security is an issue in any public space in central London. During this time of heightened security please be vigilant and report anything suspicious to a member of staff. St Martin’s takes security seriously and all of our staff are regularly trained in the evacuation of the premises. In church, please do keep your handbags/valuables where you can see them. If handbags are placed on the pew bench you do not have them in sight when you stand to sing a hymn! We look forward to welcoming all of our visitors over this Advent and Christmas season.