Monthly News from our Churchwardens

Christmas was very different this year for everyone, no carol singing around the various venues that we were usually involved in, no Turkey Lunch to enjoy and get together with everyone, no Christmas Bingo or Christmas Bazaar. I hope you were still able to enjoy some of the usual Christmas traditions and to see your family. When we think back to the first Christmas, Mary and Joseph could not have what they would have liked and Mary had to give birth in a stable, but they were still able to celebrate with the shepherds and there was great joy, so I hope you were able to celebrate this wondrous event in your own way, even if it was a very different way this year.


Lorna held a sale of Christmas Table Decorations just before Christmas. The previous days had been horrendous, with torrential rain and we were not sure if it would be possible as it had to be held outside the Good Shepherd. Lorna was very uncertain of how many decorations to make as, if it rained, there would be no outlet for them. The day dawned and it was wet, but by the time we were setting up the stall the sun came out and her arrangements were very popular and sold to passers-by so quickly that many of those who came later in the morning found she was sold out. People also came to collect the Christmas Cakes that they had ordered and together with the sale of these and the Table Decorations a total of £260 was raised.


Congratulations go to Lorna on receiving the Luxulyan Citizens Award for all she has done during the past year in by making numerous masks which made a lot of money for charity and for all the help she had also given to people. Well done Lorna,


Christmas came early at St Mary’s this year. Victoria and Scott got married on 12th December, it was third time lucky for the couple who had initially planned to get married in the first lockdown, then had to move to 14th November and along came lockdown 2 so it was put off until December with the guests now at 15! Victoria loves Christmas and was determined to have the church looking as much like Christmas as possible. They worked incredibly hard in the week before the wedding putting up two enormous trees covered in lights and created a beautiful arch decorated with flowers by the back pews, plus lights and candles and white roses in the windows and on the steps and lighted lanterns along the chancel. Two ice cream cones of flowers hung between the arches and two more over the outside steps. It was an incredible sight. Victoria is the owner of the Tall Ships Ice Cream Parlour in Charlestown and even had mini ice cream vans decorating one of the trees. The wedding was celebrated by the Rural Dean Howard Flint and it was a beautiful service lots of music, the organ played but no singing, but also lilting music provided by a violin and harpist. Despite all their previous disappointments they made it into a really special day and we wish them every blessing and many happy years together.


A suggestion was made at the last PCC meeting that members of the choir might get together on Zoom and perhaps hold a Carol Service online. We met up on Zoom to discuss this and formulated a service which Jean Galley kindly put onto Power Point and Barrie Galley and Nick Wilder were left with the process of putting it all together with music in a way that could be shown on Zoom. They spent many hours on the project, a completely new experience for both of them. Jules kindly hosted the service and it all went well when it went out on the Sunday before Christmas. It was very disappointing that apart from those involved with the production there were very few others attending although we did have one person in Germany and two from St Blazey parish which was nice. Thanks go to Barrie, Nick and Jean for all they did to make it the success it was. It was a learning curve for us all but now Barrie and Nick have more technology at their finger tips, who knows what the future holds.


Christmas Services began with the Crib Service at St Mary’s with Fr Barry Browning, all socially distanced but unfortunately the Crib could not be made up by the children as in previous years. Usually they come and sit in front of the Crib and are asked questions about what we would find in the stable and whoever answered the question could put the appropriate figure in the Crib. This year they answered the questions but Lorna put the figures in and we could not have the children singing Away in a Manger , but we did have the carols played and some hummed along which made it seem more like Christmas past.


Following this service, for those who wished to stay, there was a short Holy Communion Service which was in place of the usual Midnight Mass. Unfortunately, although many had booked to come, the Government announced that we were about to go into Tier 2 and some of our most vulnerable decided to stay safely at home. Another factor was the heating at St Mary’s as it cannot be used because it blows air and is not COVID safe, but there still seemed to be a warm feel about the building, perhaps it was all the candles and lights, or just the feeling of the Christmas Spirit.


On Christmas morning the Christmas Day service was led by Fr Derek and was well attended in the present circumstances. Fr Derek finds it very difficult not to sing during his sermons, but we did get a quiet rendering of one carol. He showed us a picture of the Star shining over the town of Bethlehem which he likened to looking at the sky with the moon shining on Killyvarder and lighting up Par. A lovely thought. Fr Christmas (alias Jill) provided the hymns through the sound system and also distributed a gift to everyone at the end of the service.


We wish you all a Happy, Healthy and COVID free New Year.