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The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton

This month's letter from the clergy

Peace on Earth

Dear friends,

What would you like for Christmas? For many children I guess it will be lots of presents although we know that does not always bring happiness. For those of us grown up perhaps what we would most like is a little peace and quiet. In a world where tension and conflict can so often be upon us before we know it we long for a little rest and tranquillity.

The birth of Jesus was announced by the angels with the message “Peace on earth and good will to all people!” . The prophet Isaiah writing several hundred years earlier spoke of one who was to come who would be called the ‘Prince of Peace’ (taken up resoundingly by Handel in his ‘Messiah’). Peace in the Bible is all about having right relationships with others - family, friends, neighbours and God himself. It is also a time for longing for international peace. Sadly that can seem as far away as ever, but Jesus promises that one day peace will be established throughout the earth on the day that his kingdom ‘comes on earth as it is in heaven’ as we regularly pray.

Our Christmas publicity this year highlights this theme of ‘Peace on Earth’. We have a wide variety of Christmas services and Carol events in Churches and pubs and elsewhere. Do come and join us at one or more of these and find out the difference that the coming of Jesus can make to your life.

We wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and pray that the celebration of the coming of the Prince of Peace will bring you joy.