Shutford Friday 1 February 2019

A reflective candlelit Advent Carol Service was held on Advent Sunday with appropriate hymns and reading. Members of the benefice choir attended making the evening a very special occasion.

In mid-December a Messy Church event was held in Shutford Village Hall with good attendance of children and adults. As there was no Christmas carol service or singing in Shutford this year, an opportunity was taken to make Christingles at Messy Church, to hear the Christmas story and sing some carols. The event finished with excellent refreshments. A donation of £100 has been given to The Children's Society who celebrated 50 years of Christingle Events in 2018.

The church was beautifully decorated for Christmas Day with flowers, greenery, a Christmas tree and the crib on the font. Craft items from the Messy Church were also on display. The church council appreciates the work of the flower ladies and others who donate flowers and decorate the church all year round.

The church council will shortly prepare for the annual meeting in March including a full revision of the church electoral and family rolls. We have a small loyal congregation so it is important that anyone who cares about St Martin's Church and its ministry in the community should apply for membership of the rolls to ensure the church remains part of village life. The Deanery Mission Plan is being revised with an opportunity to be part of the possibilities and successes of Rural Ministry.

2018 has seen congregation numbers being maintained, good financial support from church members and the wider community who have also ensured our various outreach initiatives have been successful.

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