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Churches Together in Saltburn invite you to join them in their Christmas worship

Christmas Greeting

‘"Lead on!" said Scrooge. "Lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit!"’ So says one of the most famous of Christmas characters, from Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol.

In this 150th

anniversary year for Saltburn, a town born in the Victorian era, it would do us the world of good this Christmastime to reflect on the message of one of Victorian Britain’s most celebrated Christmas stories.

A Christmas Carol, published 18 years

Sunday 11th December 2011 3.00 pm Christingle Service

In aid of The Children’s Society

Sunday 18th December 2011 10.00 am Nativity Service 10.30 am Carol Service

Led by Mr Reg Heasley

6.30 pm Carols by Candlelight (United Service)

Parish Church

Lighthouse Church Parish Church

Christmas Eve: Saturday 24th December 2011 5.00 pm Crib Service 5.30 pm Carols

6.00 pm Holy Mass 11.15 pm

Communion Service 11.30 pm Holy Communion

Parish Church Catholic Church Catholic Church Methodist Church Parish Church

Christmas Day: Sunday 25th December 2011 10.00 am Morning Service 10.00 am Family Communion 10.30 am Holy Mass

Methodist Church Parish Church Catholic Church

Parish Church

before the first train arrived in Saltburn, has a powerful contemporary message, as in our own day we witness the daily struggles of global financial and economic systems, on-going criticisms of bankers and bonuses, rising unemployment and the deserving poor struggling to make ends meet. Although many people feel largely powerless in the face of such huge problems, they are at the same time seeking ways forward, trying to find another direction, or searching for different answers. The ‘Occupy’ movement if nothing else is a symbol of this.

But let us return to Scrooge. What does he

represent for us today? I would suggest that in Scrooge we find the miracle of hope and joy being born, where before there had been the barren wastes of selfishness and miserable greed. He was for all intents and purposes beyond rescue as Dickens describes, “External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.” But, hope and help came for Scrooge (and therefore to all connected to him) by the supernatural intervention of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. They opened his eyes, his mind and his heart, and Scrooge became a changed man, or perhaps he became the man he always had it in him to be. At the end of the story Scrooge’s true life was just beginning. Christmas, and the story of the Nativity of

Jesus Christ, offers us the same opportunity to have our eyes, minds and hearts opened – to be transformed, to see our lives and the world differently. This year here in Saltburn we have been on

Church Locations and Contacts Parish Church

Windsor Road 01287 622007

of Emmanuel Parish Church Office Macnay Street 07527 671437 Methodist Church

Our Lady of Lourdes Milton Street 01287 623619 Roman Catholic Church

Lighthouse Full Gospel Church

44 Toc H

Coach House Albion Terrace

01642 278896 Milton Street 01287 623245

a fascinating journey into our past, and making our mark in the present. But what would the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’ have us see? And so this Christmastime may you be

richly blessed among family and friends; and as you sit down for Christmas dinner may these words pass through you hearts and minds: ‘Bless, O God, this food. And if there be any

one who is hungry or thirsty walking outside, send them in to us that we may share it with them as you share yourself with us.’ May you have a very Happy and Joyful

Christmas, and every blessing to you all from the Rev’d Adam Reed.

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