You are here5th December 2021

5th December 2021

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 02 December 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone

            489                              49

            Ps 8                             198

                        98                                209

198                              196/295

566                              513

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Elsie Richardson, Vera Tomkinson, Gary Kelsall, John Richardson, Peter Bowler, Catherine Ritchie, Miles Brain, John & Ann Shuttleworth, Margaret Wright, Molly Wright, Norman Latham, Gillian Wright, John Hargreaves, June Stringer, Alison Holmes, Pam Miles, Jean Gulliver, Margaret Tomlinson, Dave McGlynn, Sue Kenchington, Elsie Woodcock, Lindsey Knowles, Carl Hartley, Mike Thompson

For the recently departed, remembering their families and friends:

Jean Common, Kim Birks, Irene Hodgetts, Jim Hammersley, June Thomas, Stephen Sidley, Vincent Emmerson


Remembering their families and friends at this time


This week:

Tuesday 7th 11.45am- 1pmDROP INN CAFE St Michael’s hall

Wednesday 8th 11.15am June Thomas Funeral St M&W

7.30pm Last Zoom Bible study – all welcome

Thursday 9th 10.30am Holy Communion – St M&W


A QUOTE FROM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND’S LATEST COVID GUIDANCE:  “Vaccination cannot be the sole means of containing the spread of the virus: good hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, face-coverings and good ventilation are also important factors in lessening the spread of the disease and should be recognised as such when planning public worship and other church activities”


PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS  This year we will have three Bible studies, via Zoom, on some of the Old Testament passages we use at this time of year – “The people that walked in darkness…” et al. Final session this coming Wednesday 8th December.  The Zoom details are

Meeting ID: 873 6301 3439 Passcode: 174850 Each meeting will begin at 7.30pm

CHRISTINGLE SERVICE4PM This Sunday 5th St M&W in aid of the Children’s society. Do come and support this vital work


CAKES & MINCE PIESwill be on sale at Aston Church on Sunday 12th December. 3pm the same day is the MAYOR’S CAROL SERVICE at St Michael & St Wulfad


And so toJOHN THE BAPTIST – he makes his first appearance, in our gospel reading for this week. In actual fact, the way the Advent lectionary is structured, his Sunday is really the third Sunday of Advent, but St Luke tells us oh is appearing in the third chapter of his gospel, having already explained of his miraculous birth and nature, right from the beginning.

So why does he appear this week. For a long time the second Sunday of Advent was dedicated to the prophets of old – and this essentially explains it. John is the last of the line of people who declare with such authority “Thus says the Lord!” The Old Testament is filled with such figures, who did extraordinary things: shaving off half their beard as a sign to the people listening, declaring God’s judgement on wicked leaders – who often then had them executed or exiled for daring to speak against them. These people were uncomfortable, “salty” characters who never minced their words

And John? Very much in that tradition; He lives out in the wild, wearing odd clothes and “says it like it is!” He looked at the rulers of his day and their personal immorality and spoke of God’s judgement on such behaviour. Ultimately this cost him his life, after a long period of imprisonment, as we know from later in the gospels

Today the important thing is John understanding of his own calling. He was called to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” He knew that God was to begin something quite extraordinary and was calling the people to get ready for it. In many ways the Church is called to do the same: Christmas is not just an excuse for a spending spree, but the start of God’s renewal of his Creation!


Ian Cardinal