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Fortnightly Bulletin
25th November 2021

‘You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.’  Psalm 18:28

Dear friends,

As Advent begins this Sunday, we are turning as a congregation to the Old Testament story of Ruth.  Set mostly in Bethlehem, it’s a story of God’s unexpected kindness to one family.  Of the light and warmth of God’s love breaking into lives darkened by tragedy and loss.  Of hope restored, and refugees finding a home.  And as we will find – as we hear sermons and read the book of daily thoughts on Ruth available for all in church – its a story with a surprising connection to the coming of God’s loving kindness in its fulness in the person of Jesus Christ, to the story of Christmas.

Ruth begins with a journey home.  A return to Bethlehem.  A journey which becomes a return to knowing God and his loving kindness afresh.  That strikes an Advent note too.  The coming weeks bring so much preparation – in home and church alike.   And they also bring an invitation – to prepare our hearts for Christmas, by turning our face to his, daily, in reading Ruth and responding in prayer.   And as we rediscover his loving kindness in our own lives, to reach out to those around us with invitations and encouragement to join us in celebrating it as Christmas approaches.

Yours in Christ's service
Peter Ackroyd


Pledge Sunday

St Mary’s has been wonderfully blessed by generous giving down the years.  2021 has been a demanding year: the church council is so grateful for your support, which means we look likely to end the year much nearer break-even than we once expected.  

As we heard from the Treasurer in church last week, the financial cost of maintaining mission and ministry in 2022 also looks challenging.  (If you missed it, catch up on the YouTube recording.)   So as we often do in November, we are asking everyone at St Mary’s to review your giving, prayerfully considering what it will mean for you to be generous as we are called to be.  And then take action!  If possible, also letting us know in confidence by 5 Dec (Pledge Sunday) how much you expect to give to St Marys in 2022.  (This really does help our planning.) 

Please speak to the treasurer, David Baylis, or the wardens with any questions.  All the details of how to give can be found on the website here.  Standing Order, Gift Aid and Pledge Forms are also available in church.

Thank you


Peter Ackroyd

St. Mary's News
Pledge Sunday: 5 Dec
For all the forms and details you need, click here.
Christmas Services & Events 
To find out more, visit our website or click here.  We start on Sunday 5 December with Christingle at 4pm in church.  Booking is recommended for all services and events, so if you know you plan on attending, it would help us if you could book as soon as you can.  
Shoebox Sunday    
Thank you to everyone who donated shoeboxes in person or online to support the work of Operation Christmas Child.
Christmas Wreath Making 2021
This is now fully booked.  However, if you can help to collect greenery on Fri 3 Dec at 10am meet by the church porch – please let Alison Thompson know if you can help (Alison Thompson or phone 01234 765040).
Bible by the Beach 2022
Bookings for this excellent conference in Eastbourne are open. A group from St. Mary's will be attending.  For more details, click here and join us for a brief chat after church in the chancel this Sunday (28th November).
Sunday & Events
Sunday 28 November
- 10am Morning Service (Church)
- From 10am Livestream of Sunday Service (see link below)

- 7.30pm J.A.M (Church Hall)

Sunday 5 December: Pledge Sunday
- 10am Family Communion (Church) - Preacher: Isaac Pain (Rector of Cranfield)
- From 10am Livestream of Sunday Service (see link below)
- 4pm Christingle
- 7.15pm Prayer Gathering (Zoom)

- 7.30pm J.A.M (Church Hall)

Prayer Gathering Dates & Venues
Sunday 5 Dec (Zoom)
Sunday 2 Jan (Zoom)
Sunday 16 Jan (Church)
Sunday 30 Jan (Zoom)

Please pray for:
- For UK & European leaders to take urgent and just action, to find a long term solution to the refugee crisis and to end exploitation of human lives.  Pray especially for those caught in the middle making life and death decisions about theirs and their children's futures.

Prayers for people
- Rob & Eve Hamilton as Rob awaits medical treatment to improve his condition.
- For our new church hall cleaner as she begins her role in the next fortnight.

St. Mary's Prayer Chain
To add confidential prayer requests - contact any of the following:
Peter Ackroyd 768391
Phillip Young 606322
Ivy Peacock 303216
Diane Murray 585540
Peter & Angela Stephens 765403
Derrick & Marion Lowe 855288

Online Links

PLEASE NOTE: Access to all the links you need (for the Livestream, Catch-Up of services & any Zoom links) are now available on our website by clicking here:

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Sermon by phone: 01234 866195

Prayer Gathering Meeting ID: 870 2740 8382
Password: 087588


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St. Mary's Church Wootton · The Vicarage, Church Road, · Wootton, Bedford · Bedford, Bedfordshire MK43 9HF · United Kingdom

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