St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 1 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 2 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

One of the tricky decisions facing newly married or engaged

couples is where to spend their first Christmas! If both sets of

parents live nearby then this may not be so difficult, but if they

live some distance apart then Christmas can involve a good

deal of negotiation! For parents also, the first Christmas

without one of your children can be quite a hard step.

I faced this dilemma 13 years ago having just got engaged to

Amy. Her parents lived in Sheffield, mine in London. Neither

of us particularly wanted to spend a Christmas away from our

family and so I found myself at 6am on Boxing Day morning

belting up the A1 in order to pick Amy up and bring her down

to London. That way somehow we managed to spend

Christmas both home and away.

This year, I find myself in Sheffield and most of my extended

family in London. I have decided against dashing down to London after church

on Christmas Day as there would be no chance of me getting my Christmas

lunch without seriously breaking the speed limit! At the time of writing I don’t

yet know whether the vicarage will be full of people or whether this Christmas

will be a relatively quiet one.

For many of us Christmas is about drawing closer as families. Whatever other

changes have happened in our rapidly changing society, Christmas still seems

to be primarily about “family time”. That is why Christmas for many people can

be both a source of joy and stress – often both at the same time.

It is also why for many people Christmas is a very difficult time. For those who

are far from home, who have suffered bereavement or family breakdown, or

who are housebound, ill and lonely, Christmas can be the hardest time of year.

The Samaritans expect to receive a phone call every seven seconds during the

Christmas season.

At the heart of the meaning of Christmas is God drawing close to his people.

My Boxing Day dash up the A1 to be with my fiancée in a tiny way echoed

God’s desire to bring the world back to him. In Jesus Christ the world, at times

so distant from its Creator, is brought back into a relationship that the Bible

dares to call “family”. And so Christmas is indeed about family, but not just our

biological family. Christmas is about being brought back into God’s family and

finding ourselves in his love.

I hope to see many of you at the various Christmas services in St Chad’s (see

page 7), and I pray that whether you face this Christmas with longing or with

apprehension, you will find strength, comfort and hope through being part of

God’s family at this time.

Rev Toby Hole


St Chad’s Church


St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 3 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Bright Spark Electrical

All types of electrical work

Part P qualified

Burglar alarms

Telephone sockets

Computer tuition, setup/

repair and upgrades.

Malcolm Holmes

77 Holmhirst Road

Sheffield S8 0GW

Tel: 0114 2490889

Mob:07966 141780

Email: msholmes1@yahoo.com

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 4 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Why are Christmas

trees so bad at


Because they are

always dropping

their needles!

What do you

get if you eat




John and Tracy

went into the woods

looking for a

Christmas tree.

They looked all day

without finding what

they wanted.

Near nightfall John

finally said: “I’m

taking the next tree

we come to —

whether it has lights

on or not!”

Which of Father


reindeers needs

to watch his



It was nearly Christmas and

young Josh was praying upstairs with

his mum while dad and grandma sat


"Lord I pray for a train set, a remote control

car, and A NEW BICYCLE!!!” he said.

You don't have to shout dear," said mum,

"God's not deaf."

"I know he’s not," said Josh, "but grandma


“I’m fed up of being a shepherd nothing

exciting ever happens round here!”

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 5 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Send details of your event to impact@stchads.org or write to: Impact,

St Chad’s Church Offices, 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB.

Health Walks

Mondays – 10am: Graves Park.

Meet at the Animal Farm car park;

Tuesdays – 10.30am: Ecclesall

Woods. Meet at Abbeydale Industrial


Thursdays – 10.30am: Lowedges.

Meet at the Community Wing,

Lowedges Junior School.

Call 0114 203 9337.

National Council for Divorced,

Single and Widowed

Tuesdays 8-11pm

Norton Country Club

Club offering friendship and social


Call Magdalen on 0114 2394326.

December 5

Discover Bishops’ House


Explore Bishops’ House and find out

about life in Tudor Sheffield. Guided

tours will take place at 11.30am and


Call 0114 278 2600.

December 5

Meersbrook Park Users Trust Santa


Meersbrook Park


A Santa Dash charity event followed by


December 5

St Luke’s Hospice Festival of Light

St Luke’s Hospice


Radio Sheffield presenter Paulette

Edwards is special guest at the switchon

with carols and refreshments.

Free park and ride service from Tesco,

Abbeydale Road from 4.30pm.

Call 0114 236 9911.

December 5

Nether Edge Farmers’ Market and

Christmas Fair

Nether Edge Road


Over 80 food and craft stalls run by

farmers and the local community.

There will also be live entertainment

including music from the Salvation

Army Band, children’s activities and


Call 0114 255 0805

December 10 & 11

Dore Male Voice Choir Christmas


Dore Parish Church


December 14

Carols by Candlelight

All Saints Church, Ecclesall


Whirlow Hall Farm Trust holds a

fundraising carol concert with readings

and music in aid of its work with inner

city children and those with disabilities.

Admission £7.

Call 0114 268 5017.

December 17 & 18

The Panto of the Opera

Abbeydale Picture House

Family fun panto written by Stuart

Ardern and in aid of the picture house


Call 07775 966106.

January 8

Recycle your Christmas Tree

In front of Abbey Lane School


Bring your Christmas tree to be

shredded and recycled for £1 and help

St Chad’s Scout Group fundraising


Beauchief Abbey holds a variety

of services and anyone is

welcome to attend. For more

details see the Abbey notice


St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 6 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


Christingle Service

An informal service with traditional

Christingles especially for children

Sunday 19th December

Sunday 12th December


Candle-lit Carol Service

A traditional service with lessons and carols

followed by mince pies and refreshments



Pre-school Nativity

(0-4yrs) with figures from the manger


Crib Service

(for all ages, especially children)


Midnight Communion




Christmas Day Service

(Informal, with Holy Communion, for all ages)

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 7 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


t's interesting to know how

people celebrate Christmas

in different parts of the


Traditions vary a great deal and

the weather obviously plays an

important part in how people

celebrate. In the northern

hemisphere it's easy to picture a





enjoying family


around a blazing

fire - just like a


Christmas card.

How different it

must be south of

the Equator - a

blazing fire would

hardly be

welcome, though the

thought of snow might

come as a refreshing

alternative to the intense heat! I

spoke to several people at St.

Chad's and asked them about

Christmases spent in their native



Sam Jacob recalled his memories:

"Christmas was different in Kerala,

South India. We used to have two

Christmases annually! The

Catholics and Protestants had theirs

in December, like most of the world,

and the Orthodox Churches

celebrated theirs in early January.

“There was hardly any

commercial involvement as the

giving of gifts and feasting on food

and alcohol were not customary.

Christians kept a star-shaped

lantern in front of the house during

the season and, on the day, there

would be a mini firework display in

the garden. The Catholic Church

had a Midnight Mass extending in to

the early hours of the morning,

Protestant Churches a traditional

carol service on Christmas Eve and

the Orthodox

Churches an

early morning

service before

sunrise. Many

older folk observed

25 days of Lent prior

to Christmas,

abstaining from

meat, fish and dairy

products. On the

whole it was a

happy time of the

year and often a

peaceful time".


Mary Diskin's daughter lives in

Norway and Mary has spent several

Christmases there with the family.

The Norwegians love candles and

candlelight, which is not surprising

as their winters are long and dark.

Mary remembers her first

Christmas there, driving from the

airport past houses with branch

candles alight in every window - "It

was magical", she says, "especially

with lots of snow everywhere". In

Norway, as in many European

countries, Christmas is celebrated

on Christmas Eve. Unlike Britain,

where Christmas trees appear in

many houses weeks before 25th

December, Norwegians wait until

Christmas Eve. They decorate their

houses in traditional style with little

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 8 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Norwegian flags, lots of candles and

models of "nisses" - small mythical

elf-like creatures who, according to

folklore, protect children at night

whilst the household sleeps, and

bring them gifts. The celebration

meal consists of ribs of pork,

meatballs and a delicious red

cabbage dish, the dessert being a

special rice porridge. It's made the

day before Christmas Eve flavoured

with cinnamon, and fruits and cream

are added for the celebration meal.

"My husband wasn't very happy

to be presented with this - he was

looking forward to his usual

Christmas Pudding", Mary

remembers. However, apparently

it's very tasty! There are lots of

other titbits eaten throughout the

day - a tempting spiral almond cake,

decorated and full of marzipan,

which is cut into rings, and

wonderful gingerbread houses.

After the meal it's time to

distribute presents. Christmas Day

is spent quietly but on New Year's

Eve everyone celebrates with

candles again and fireworks.

South Africa

Feeling a little chilly with all that talk

of snow, I asked Dot Lockyer and

Kerry Moon about Christmas South

African style. Dot and her husband

went to live there in the early 70s,

but Kerry had lived there all her life.

Dot said, "Well for a start the

temperature is usually at least 30

degrees C and there's a humidity of

90! It may well be raining, but that

doesn't cool things down much.

The first year we were there we

had a seafood braai (barbeque to

you!) for lunch around Mum and

Dad's swimming pool - fish,

langoustines, crayfish, prawns and

all the trimmings - and we wore

swimming costumes all day! Lots

of South Africans still have the

braai, but we decided to revert to

traditional Christmas food after

that. We ate in the evening on the

covered veranda to minimise the

heat - Kerry's family on Christmas

Eve and mine on Christmas Day.

We had a decorated artificial tree,

candles and cards strung up but no

lights decorating the outside - they

hadn't arrived in South Africa then!

Neither had television until years

later - so the Queen's message,

always a "must", was heard on the

radio first.

“Kerry and I, often with our

mums in tow, went to church on

Christmas morning or for Midnight

Mass on Christmas Eve. There

was always a carol service the

weekend before at St Michael's

(Umhlanga Rocks) and a crib

dressing service for the kids.

Boxing Day was often spent at a

beach somewhere, away from the

crowds in Durban, usually up the

north coast. So, all in all, a very

traditional European Christmas -

but with sunshine and the heat!"

Now, where would you like to

spend Christmas? India, Norway,

South Africa? ...... or perhaps here,

at home?

Chris Laude

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 9 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


s Christmas draws closer,

this can be a very exciting

time of year. But for those

feeling the pinch financially,

the run-up to Christmas can be very


Supermarket aisles have been

bursting since October with

Christmassy biscuits, cakes, booze

and chocolate; other shelves are

loaded with festive decorations and

stacks of toys and gifts. We are

constantly being

reminded of the things

we ‘need’ to make

Christmas special. For

those who have

children, the stress can

be exacerbated. The

summer was barely

over before my own

six-year-old was telling

me which hot wheels

sets he definitely needs

for Christmas, and he

has been reminding me

on a weekly basis


The national debtline website has

some helpful advice for avoiding

getting into debt at Christmas. It

suggests drawing up a budget to help

you make sure you cover all your

essentials – such as mortgage or rent

and utilities bills. Then decide, in

advance, how much you can afford to

spend at Christmas. Work out how

much in total you want to spend on

presents. Then divide the present

money by the number of people you

want to get presents for to get an idea

of how much to spend on each

person. Try to spread buying

presents so you don’t have to pay too

much all at once.

It’s also worth remembering that

shops have a vested interest in trying

to convince us that we ‘need’ to buy

lots of things in order to have a good

Christmas. But it is possible to

celebrate Christmas cheaply – as

long as you are prepared to re-think

your Christmas rituals. Instead of

shopping and going out, try to focus

on spending time with family or

friends and doing things together.

Watch a film together at home. Go for

walks. Go to church during Advent–

that will get you into the Christmas

spirit, but it needn’t cost you a penny.

As for children’s presents – try to

explain to them why you

can’t afford anything

expensive. They may not

like it but you are the one

in charge of your budget!

Instead, spend time

together making

decorations or

Christmassy cakes or

biscuits that you can then

give to people instead of

buying presents. Try

these ideas for easy DIY


Stick a fern onto card

to make a ‘Christmas tree’, then

decorate it

Cut star shapes out of card,

cover with aluminium foil, punch a

hole in one point and thread through

some string or thread

Find a large branch to hang

decorations on instead of a Christmas


Cut small circles out of old

Christmas cards (or any card) and

stick them onto a long piece of

thread, wool or string with stickers or

sticky labels, for garlands

Cut some spare cloth into two

identical shapes – e.g. a stocking,

heart or star. Sew most of the sides

together, leaving the top open so you

have a small bag. Then you can fill it

with a few biscuits for a nice present.

For debt advice, the national

debtline for England and Wales is

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 10 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


udy Wanjiru — who comes

from Kenya — spent her first

Christmas in the UK last year.

Here she tells us about some

of the differences between the two

countries when it comes to

celebrating the season


first Christmas in

England was quite

interesting. I went to my

good friends in

Chapeltown for Christmas dinner.

They are an English family and

very ‘Yorkshire’!

I was suprised that people who

don’t believe in God celebrate


In Kenya where I come from this

is more about a Saviour being born

as a gift to Christians. In England

it’s about family and friends and

getting together as a family and

having a meal together.

We had a turkey, sprouts, roast

potatoes and amazing Christmas


I do like the idea that people in

this country buy Christmas

presents and send Christmas cards

to family, friends and even

neighbours. The thought of thinking

about others is great.

In Kenya it is more about going

to church, having special food,

(chapati and meat and vegetables)

also a time to see your extended


They welcomed me to their

house, they fed me, gave me

presents and treated me as one of

the brothers or sisters. I felt so


Judy Wanjiru



Pupils trained in the art of perfect

speech and prepared for examination

and stage work


(Eloc) Gold Medal

31 Cockshutt Avenue, Sheffield 8

Phone: 274 7134

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 11 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Boxing Day

Meaning - December 26, also called St.

Stephen's Day.

Derived from - boxes, originally made of

earthenware, were used by the poor

(servants, apprentices, etc.) in mediaeval

times to save money throughout the year. At

Christmas, the boxes were broken open and

the savings shared to fund the Christmas

festivities. The tradition of giving a ‘Christmas

box’, usually money, to tradespeople who

rendered a service throughout the year but

were not paid directly by the recipient, began

in the 17th century. The gifts were given, not

on Christmas Day, but on the first

subsequent working day. This tradition has

stayed with us to the present time when we

give a ‘Christmas box’ to those who deliver

our post, milk or newspapers all year round,

whatever the weather!

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 12 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


f you have a birthday that falls

near Christmas you probably

know how frustrating it can be

when, as a child, relatives give

you a “joint present” for both

celebrations. No matter how they

might try to convince you that you are

no worse off than if your birthday was

in June, you have a sneaking suspicion

that you are being fiddled out of a

birthday present. When two dates fall

next to each other it is very easy for

them to slide into one another.

In the Christian year this has

happened to the feasts of Christmas

and Epiphany. Christmas, as you

know, is celebrated (in this country at

least) on December 25 and it

celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Son

of God, to the virgin Mary in a stable in

Bethlehem – scenes familiar from all

school nativity plays. Most of the story

is taken from the first two chapters of

the gospel of St Luke.

Epiphany (which means “revelation”

in Greek) is celebrated on January 6

(the 12th night of Christmas) and

celebrates, among other things, God

revealing his Son Jesus to the world –

particularly to the non-Jewish world.

Whereas Christmas contains the

stories of the shepherds, the inn in

Bethlehem and the angels, Epiphany

has the mysterious characters that

have gone down in folklore as the

three kings. This story is taken from

the gospel of St Matthew. We three

Kings of Orient are is, strictly speaking,

an epiphany hymn rather than a

Christmas carol.

“Why separate the two?” you might

ask. The fact is that despite the

tendency of nativity plays and carol

services to conflate the two, it seems

as though these two stories of the

infant Jesus happen at different times

in his childhood. The visit of the

shepherds and the angels seem to

take place within moments of his birth,

but the visit of the kings (or magi)

happens perhaps as much as two

years later. The holy family are

recorded as being in a house (rather

than a temporary shelter) and Herod’s

horrific decree to kill all the baby boys

was applied to all infants under the age

of two, suggesting that Jesus may

have been a toddler.

As well as the question of timing,

there is also the question of who these

people were. Tradition has called them

kings, but it is more likely they were

astrologers and wise men from Persia

or Babylon. As to their number, the

Bible is silent, although three gifts

(gold, frankincense and myrrh) are


I will be involved with various nativity

plays this Christmas, and I’m sure that

all will have three (or possibly more!)

“kings” in them. I don’t mind this a bit;

it all adds to the drama and mystery of

the Christmas story. But the story of

the magi is worth celebrating on its

own. The journey of these strange

men, travelling from far-away lands to

proffer gifts to a baby born in such

inauspicious circumstances might

serve to remind us of the strange

power of attraction that Jesus holds for

some of us from even further away

both in time and in distance.

Rev Toby Hole

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 13 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Sunday Services

The 9am Service

● Traditional in style

● Includes Holy Communion, a sermon & hymns

● Includes refreshments afterwards

● Taken from Common Worship: Holy Communion

Lifted, the 11am Service


● Informal and relaxed in style

● An emphasis on families

● Includes music, led by a band

● Refreshments served from 10.15-10.45am

Weekday Services

Morning Prayers

• Monday to Thursday at 9am

Evening Prayers

• Monday to Thursday at 5pm

The Thursday 10am Service

• Traditional in style

• Taken from Common Worship: Holy Communion

• Includes Holy Communion, a sermon & hymns

• Held in the Lady Chapel at the back of church

Other Services


• Wednesdays December 1, 8 and 15 at 7.15pm

with the theme Our Magi Gifts.

• A contemplative and meditative form of worship.

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 14 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


ou may wonder what on earth

I am going to write about

under the title of Swiety

Mikolaj? No it is not Sweaty

Michael nor is it anything to do with

sweets - well not directly - nor milk.

However if you can speak Polish

you will know that it is what people in

Poland call Father Christmas.

Our modern day view of Father

Christmas comes mainly from the

American poet Clement Moore who in

1822 wrote a poem in which he

describes Father Christmas. It is

entitled ‘The Night Before Christmas’

or ‘A Visit From St Nicholas’ and

includes bits like “He had a broad

face, and a little round belly that shook

when he laughed like a bowl full of

jelly. He was chubby and plump, — a

right jolly old elf — And I laughed

when I saw him, in spite of myself”.

(They don’t write them like that

anymore). Not only is this poem where

we get our image of Father Christmas

but also the idea that he uses a

sledge pulled by reindeer, lives at the

North Pole and has lots of elves.

The concept of Father Christmas in

the UK is much older and comes from

a pagan tradition in England which

celebrated the passing of midwinter,

signs of spring and ever lengthening

days - which is why Father Christmas

was originally dressed in green with a

red beard. He would go from house to

house and make merry with the

families who were celebrating the end

of a long winter. It was only in the

1930s that Coca Cola changed his

coat from green to red to match their

corporate colours.

Whilst Father Christmas and Santa

Claus are now pretty much

interchangeable these days they

actually come from very different

traditions. Whilst the story of Father

Christmas is based on an English

pagan tradition, the person of Santa

Claus is based on a real life person –

St Nicholas. He was around during the

third century in a then Greek city

called Myra, which is now in modern

day Turkey. St Nicholas was a Greek

Christian bishop and a very devout,

kindly person who gave a lot of his

wealth away to the poor. Because he

did not want people to know that it

was he that was giving the money he

would either throw it through an open

window or drop it down the chimney in

the house of the families that he

wanted to bless. On one occasion it

landed in some stockings which were

hanging above the fire to dry – hence

hanging stockings up for Father

Christmas to put presents in.

If like me you will be celebrating the

birth of Jesus this Christmas or just

having a bit of a knees up to give

yourselves a lift during the winter

nights, or both, be very careful walking

past an open window. Some kindly old

chap whispering Καλά Χριστούγεννα!

may lob a bag of gold through it.

Steve Winks

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 15 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

Looking for a room

to hold your

meeting or party?

St Chad’s church has two

rooms available for hire at

56 Abbey Lane.

Call 0114 274 5086 for details

Beauchief Pre-School

Where learning is fun

Ofsted inspected & approved

for ages 2 1 / 2 to school. Free places

available for 3 & 4 year olds.

A world of discovery, fun & friendships awaits your child

Drop in to see us or for a brochure, more information or to

enrol your child please contact Sarah 274 6930

Beauchief Baptist Church

Hutcliife Wood Road S8

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 16 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


any years ago my dad

decided to dress up in

a red Father

Christmas outfit and

sneak into everyone’s bedroom late

on Christmas Eve to deliver the

presents, including the room where

we had Nigerian students living with

us (three sisters named Bola, Bosé

and Bimbo). I invite you now to

imagine things from the perspective

of our dear and much loved Nigerian

sisters. One minute you’re fast

asleep, perhaps dreaming of distant

home and loved ones missed, when

suddenly your slumber is disturbed

by the creaking of floorboards

outside the bedroom. To your horror

the door slowly opens, and in creeps

a hooded man dressed in red – the

colour of blood! So you pull the

covers tight over your head (the

duvet is the safest place in the

Universe) and you remain as still as

death – too fearful to warn your

sisters! You remain in this motionless

state for hours – frozen in dread and

terrified that the red hooded murderer

might return to get you!

The Nigerian girls came down the

next Christmas morning (relieved that

they were still alive!) and told us all

about their terrible ordeal. My dad

then fetched his red Santa suit and

all three girls screamed – until we

were able to explain that he was

dressed up as Father Christmas to

deliver the presents, not some axewielding

maniac! I’m glad to say that

we were all able to have a good

laugh about it in the end.

Yet it’s amazing how differently

people think of Christmas and in

particular how they think of Father

Christmas. Many of us think of God

as a kind of Father Christmas figure.

Everyone says that Santa doesn’t

really exist, but deep down some part

of you wishes that he is real. It’s the

same with Father God. Although

people say that He doesn’t exist –

many of us have this feeling deep

down that He is really up there


My brother and I used to write out

letters to Father Christmas, fold them

up and then throw them up the

chimney. Those letters are probably

still there! I wonder if this is how you

think of Father God. Perhaps for

most of the year you don’t give God a

second thought, but if there’s a family

emergency, if illness strikes or

money is tight, you throw a prayer

“up the chimney” to Father God.

The good news this Christmas is

that, unlike Father Christmas, Father

God is real and longs for you to throw

your prayers “up the chimney”! You

might not always get what you ask

for, but He promises to answer all

your prayers, whether His answer is

Yes, No, or Wait. So this Christmas,

why not give Father God a try?

Jesus said, “But when you pray,

go into your room, close the door and

pray to your Father [God], who is

unseen. Then your Father [God], who

sees what is done in secret, will

reward you.” Matthew 6:6

Merry Christmas!

Daren Craddock

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 17 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


hat comes to mind when

Christmas lights are

mentioned? Is it, I

wonder, garish rows of

Santas running endlessly between

suburban houses? Or is it finding out

that the tree lights don't work after

spending hours putting them up? Or

perhaps it's the city centre lights —

more running reindeer — or

Meadowhall and Santa's Grotto?

But if you look beneath and

beyond the Disneyland stuff, there

are other lights, those T. S. Elliot calls

"lesser lights":

The eastern light our spires touch at


The light that slants upon our western

doors at evening,

The twilight over stagnant pools at


Moonlight and starlight, owl and


Glow-worm and glowlight on a


Choruses from the Rock - 10

What lights did Jesus have, I

wonder, when He was born in that

cold, dark stable? Not laughing

Santas, that's for sure. Probably not

a candle. Perhaps an oil lamp, or a

little rush light? But the main light, I

think, would have come from His own

special star, the one guiding the Wise

Men and shepherds to His manger.

That star must have shone through

the doorway, jewelling the dew-drops

from the softly breathing creatures

around His crib and lighting His

mother's face and the sparkling tears

in her eyes. Imagine, those tiny

hands which once "flung stars into

space" for now wrapped content in

swathing bands. Did He, I wonder,

look out beyond that bright star to the

lesser lights and know the names He

had given them long ago? And in the

velvet silence of the Bethlehem hill,

did those stars sing for Him? In

Shakespeare's words:

There's not the smallest orb which

thou beholdest

But in his motion like an angel sings,

Still quiring to the young-eyed

cherubims ....

Those stars which Jesus knew and

named are still there. They always

have been and they always will be.

But unless we look for them away

from the garish man-made lights, we

will never see them, let alone hear

them. For who knows? Perhaps the

stars really do sing in their courses!

Travellers tell that the Northern Lights

really do make their own particular

sound and music. Some say that

Sibelius captured this sound in some

of his compositions. But to see these

stars and hear their music, perhaps

we need to go back to a gentler age

when we had real candles on our

Christmas trees, and went caroling on

Christmas Eve with storm lanterns to

light our way. We need to "tune in"

once again to this older world and

then, perhaps, we will find the true

meaning and magic of Christmas.

Imagine yourself with the

shepherds in the quiet hills round

Bethlehem, listening to the eternal

music of the stars:

How sweet the moonlight sleeps

upon this bank!

Here will we sit and let the sounds of


Creep in our ears; soft stillness and

the night

Become the touches of sweet


William Shakespeare, The

Merchant of Venice

And think of the old, well-loved


Brightest and best of the sons of the

morning, Dawn on our darkness and

lend us thine aid: Stars of the east

and horizon adorning, Guide where

our infant Redeemer is laid.

Reginald Heber 1783-1826

Sylvia Bennett

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 18 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 19 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


he Operation Christmas

Child appeal is organised

by the charity Samaritan’s

Purse and for the past 20

years it has shown that there’s

power in a simple gift.

It has grown to become the

largest Christmas shoebox appeal in

the UK, demonstrating God’s love in

a tangible way to millions of children

around the world.

It is supported by caring

individuals, families, schools,

churches, businesses and other

organisations. Last year over 1.2

million shoeboxes filled with toys

and goodies were sent from the UK

alone to children in disadvantaged

situations in parts of Africa, Eastern

Europe and Central Asia.

There is something very

rewarding about giving to a child you

will probably never meet –

especially when you know your

simple act of kindness will be felt

and appreciated in more ways than

you can ever imagine. Often this is

the only gift they will receive and

even the box is important as

somewhere to keep their


Although by the time you read this

article many shoeboxes will already

have been despatched it is not too

late. Simply giftwrap a shoebox and

fill with small toys such as a ball,

skipping-rope, finger puppets, trucks

and cars for boys, dolls, hair slides

for girls, a cuddly toy, felt-tip pens,

pencils, crayons, writing books,

toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hat,

gloves, scarf, sweets. Choosing the

gifts is fun and all the family can be


Samaritan’s Purse works with

local churches and charities

overseas to distribute the gifts to

those who most need them

regardless of their background or


Volunteers from around the UK

are privileged to join the distribution

teams and see at first hand how

much joy these gifts, which probably

seem so small to us, can bring to

these children.

Completed shoeboxes can be

brought to St. Chad’s office at 15

Camping Lane up to December 17.

Carole Titman

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 20 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086



are some of the

stories of the impact

shoeboxes can make

across the world.

S a m a r it a n ’s P u r s e p a r t n e r in

R o m a n ia , A lin a , g iv e s t h e lo w d o w n

o n s h o e b o x e s a r r iv in g in h e r c o u n t r y :

“ I d e liv e r s h o e b o x e s in m y p o o r

v illa g e a n d la s t M a r c h I w a s o n m y

w a y h o m e w h e n t w o lit t le b o y s c a u g h t

u p w it h m e a n d b e g a n t e llin g m e a ll

a b o u t t h e s h o e b o x e s t h e y h a d

r e c e iv e d in D e c e m b e r . W it h

e x c it e m e n t f illin g t h e ir f a c e s , t h e y

n a m e d e v e r y s in g le it e m ! T h e lit t le

b o y s a c c o m p a n ie d m e h o m e a n d

t a lk e d n o n - s t o p a b o u t t h e ir

s h o e b o x e s t h e e n t ir e jo u r n e y . I t w a s

t h r e e m o n t h s a f t e r t h e e v e n t a n d

y e t t h e jo y o n t h e ir f a c e s w o u ld

h a v e m a d e y o u t h in k t h e y h a d

r e c e iv e d t h e g if t s t h a t

v e r y d a y . T h is y e a r , I

h a v e d e liv e r e d m o r e

s h o e b o x e s a n d t h e

r e s p o n s e f r o m t h e

c h ild r e n is

o v e r w h e lm in g . T h e y

a r e a w o n d e r f u l g if t

t h a t k e e p s o n g iv in g

a ll y e a r lo n g . ”

I n a p o o r R o m a

c o m m u n it y o n

t h e o u t s k ir t s o f

S a r a je v o , B o s n ia ,

s h o e b o x e s a r e

s p e a k in g w o r d s

o f lo v e a n d h o p e

in t o t h e liv e s o f

h u n d r e d s o f

c h ild r e n .

“ A b o u t 7 0 % o f t h e c h ild r e n w e

g iv e s h o e b o x e s t o d o n ’t g o t o

s c h o o l. B u t a r r iv in g w it h s h o e b o x e s

p a c k e d f u ll o f g if t s , w e a r e a b le t o

c o n v e y a m e s s a g e o f G o d ’s lo v e

a n d a c c e p t a n c e in t o a c o m m u n it y

t h a t e x p e r ie n c e s r e je c t io n . T h e

s m ile s a n d w a r m g r e e t in g s f r o m t h e

R o m a p e o p le a s t h e y v o ic e t h e ir

t h a n k f u ln e s s s h o w s u s h o w p o w e r f u l

t h e s e s im p le g if t s r e a lly a r e . ”

Arriving back from

Belarus, Ian Taylor,

explains the power of

a shoebox.

“This photo sums up

the excitement that

the children show,

delighted in their

friend’s box, as much

as their own.”

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 21 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 22 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086


s you scrape the last of the

brandy sauce from your plate

and prepare to sleep your

Christmas dinner off during

the Queen's speech, spare a thought

for those who will spend Christmas

far from home. The soldiers, sailors

and airmen, some of whom may

never return, for refugees, asylum

seekers and the homeless. Think

also of those who will spend

Christmas in hospital and those who

care for them.

And spare a thought for the many

who will be at home for Christmas but

alone and lonely, their Christmas

dinner perhaps a Tesco chicken pie

provided by a kindly neighbour. To

many older people, home can

become more of a prison than a

sanctuary and they may be just as

lonely and "homesick" as those in a

strange land. Thoughts turn to the

days when the house was full of

laughter and Christmas meant

warmth, love, firelight and stockings

hung up waiting for Santa - that same

home now bare and forlorn.

Being far from home has inspired

much great literature. Think of Ivor

Gurney: "Only the wanderer knows

England's graces, or can anew see

clear familiar faces. And who loves

joy as he that dwells in shadows? Do

not forget me quite, O Severn

meadows". And Rupert Brooke:

"Say, is there Beauty yet to find?....

Deep meadows yet, for to forget ....

oh! yet stands the church clock at ten

to three? And is there honey still for


During World War Two, many

children were evacuated, some

spending several years away from

home. For them, there were no

mobile phones or emails and

telephones were almost unknown in

country villages. Only the occasional

letter or Christmas present would

remind them of home. Strangely

though, something did bind them all

together, and that was the reassuring

voice of Uncle Mac over the radio.

He always closed Children's Hour

with the words, "Goodnight

children .... everywhere!". Evacuees,

or "vaccies" as they became know,

have inspired a literature of their own.

Think of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of

Narnia where it's always winter but

never Christmas, Michelle Magorian's

Goodnight, Mr.Tom and Michael

Morpurgo's Friend or Foe, to name

but three. Often based on truth, they

have heart-rending moments, but the

bravery and resilience of the children

shines through and they are

strengthened by the experience.

Many people, some of them

children, actually choose a way of life

which takes them away from home at

Christmas - missionaries, doctors,

nurses, emergency and rescue

services. The ones I admire most are

the Cathedral choristers who, from

the age of seven or even younger,

provide the hauntingly beautiful music

of our Christmas services but, like the

evacuees and soldiers, they are often

dreadfully homesick. Strangely

enough all of us, whether at home or

far away, can at any time, "tune in" to

a common wavelength for a message

of hope and love. You must listen

carefully, for it won't be a text

message or an email, but "a still small

voice" calling you by name.

When you hear it, it's up to you

how you respond - Jesus is not a

cold-calling, pushy salesman. You

can choose to ignore Him, or you can

choose to open your heart, let Him in

and help Him with His work. But I'm

certain, whatever you decide, He will

say to each and everyone of us,

"Happy Christmas, children ....


Sylvia Bennett

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 23 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086



19 Poppy Grace SAYERS


17 Harry James GOLDINGAY



24 Evie Katy GREEN



6 Hilda NEALE (90)


f you have recently had a new baby

and would like to celebrate that

baby’s birth with a service in church

then please come to our

thanksgiving and baptism morning at St

Chad ’s on Saturday 4 th December.

The morning will explain the difference

between the two services and give parents

an opportunity to ask any questions they

might have. Please call the church office

on 0114 274 5086 if you are interested in


For Weddings & Funerals

You don’t have to be a churchgoer to

have a wedding in church, nor do you

have to be ‘religious’ to have a dignified

and meaningful funeral service at St


If you live in

the Woodseats

or Beauchief

area, St Chad’s

would be

delighted to

help you,

whether it is

planning the Big Day or saying goodbye to

a loved one.

For weddings please contact St Chad’s

church office. For funerals please tell

your funeral director that you would like to

have a church service.


At Church House

(56 Abbey Lane)

10am to 12 noon

On the last Saturday of each month.

Bring & Buy (new items)

Handicrafts Home Baking

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 24 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

T op 1 2 toys…

E v e r y y e a r t h e T o y

R e t a i l e r s A s s o c i a t i o n

p r e d i c t s t h e t o p 1 2 b e s t

s e l l i n g t o y s . H e r e ’ s

w h a t i t s a y s f o r 2 0 1 0 :

1 C i t y A i r p o r t

2 F i r e ma n S a m D e l u x

F i r e S t a t i o n P l a y s e t

3 F u r R e a l G o G o

W a l k i n g P u p

4 J e t P a c k B u z z

L i g h t y e a r

5 K i d i z o o m V i d e o C a m

6 M o n o p o l y R e v o l u t i o n

7 M o o n D o u g h B a r n

8 N e r f N S t r i k e

S t a mp e d e E C S

9 P a p e r J a mz G u i t a r

1 0 P u mp a l o o n s

1 1 S y l v a n i a n F a mi l i e s

M o t o r c y c l e & S i d e c a r

1 2 Z h u Z h u G r o o mi n g

S a l o n

Christmas Day Muffins

Makes 12

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


175 g (6 oz) fresh cranberries

50 g (2 oz) icing sugar, sifted

150 g (5 oz) plain wholemeal flour

150 g (5 oz) plain white flour

15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) ground mixed spice

2.5 ml (half tsp) salt

50 g (2 oz) light brown sugar

1 egg

250 ml (8 fl oz) milk

50 ml (2 fl oz) vegetable oil


Mix the icing sugar with halved cranberries.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter or use

paper cases.

In a bowl mix the brown sugar, salt, mixed

spice, baking powder and both flours. Make a

hole in the middle.

Add a mixture of beaten egg/milk/oil into the

hole and just blend. Then add the cranberries

and quickly stir. The end product should be a

rough mixture with lumps and air pockets

visible. (Instead of the cranberries you can

use mincemeat (225 g, 8 oz) to put in the


Take this mixture and fill the muffin cups to

two thirds and bake at gas mark 4 (180 deg

C, 350 F) until they are golden brown and

well risen. About 20 minutes.

Cool a little and serve warm.

Over the Christmas period, collections

at St Chad’s go to help the work of

HARC — Homeless and Rootless at


Founded in 1989, the Sheffield-based

charity provides a safe and warm day

shelter to all homeless and rootless vulnerable

men and women between

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

It provides three free hot meals a day,

and drinks, and guests are welcome to

spend the entire day there at a time

when the other services may be closed

for the festive holidays.

To find out more go to http://harcsheffield.blogspot.com/

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 25 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

CHURCH OFFICES 15 Camping Lane 274 5086

S8 0GB

Term time office hours:

Mon & Thurs - 10am-1pm;

Tues - 10am-12pm; Fri - 9.30am-11.30am

Church Office Administrator

Helen Reynolds

email: office@stchads.org

Vicar Toby Hole (Vicarage) 274 9302

email: toby@stchads.org

Reader/Assistant Minister Yvonne Smith 274 5086

for the elderly

Youth Minister Andrew Foulkes 274 5086

Besom in Sheffield

Steve Winks and

Darren Coggins 274 5086

Publishing and Communication Nigel Belcher 274 5086

Impact magazine Tim Hopkinson 274 5086

email: impact@stchads.org

Church Wardens Nigel Belcher 281 1750

email: nigel@stchads.org

Malcolm Smith 274 7159

Church Warden Team Tim Hopkinson 274 0198

Jane Jones 274 6805

Linda Jones 07930 936067

Caretaker Mark Cobbold 274 5086

Uniformed Groups

Group Scout Leader Ian Jackson 235 3044

Guide Leader Jemma Taylor 296 0555

CHURCH HOUSE 56 Abbey Lane 274 8289

Bookings Helen Reynolds 274 5086

Visit our website: www.stchads.org

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 26 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 27 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

St Chads Church, Linden Avenue, Woodseats

email: office@stchads.org

Church Offices: 15 Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0GB Page 28 website: www.stchads.org

Tel: (0114) 274 5086

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