You are here5th January 2020

5th January 2020

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 02 January 2020

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

May we all have a vision now and then

Of a world where every neighbour is a friend

So sang ABBA in 1980, of course (was it really 40 years ago?)  It’s a lovely sentiment – may the New year bring new things, better times and a world with fewer problems – where “every neighbour is a friend”

But sadly, these years have not brought that any nearer. In North Korea the leader, Kim Jong Un threatens us all with restarting his nuclear arms program. In the Yemen, children are starving on a scale that is almost unseen – and not for any natural disaster, but for an ongoing civil war. In our own country, there was a horrible incident just down the road from us, where a mobility scooter in Cannock was struck, and its occupant killed, by a hit and run driver on New Year’s Eve. No, the world has not really progressed at all

This Sunday, the Church is celebrating Epiphany – the arrival of the Magi, with their symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But the meaning of the story is not in details of camels, ruthless Kings in Jerusalem or anything else. St Matthew’s Gospel is relating something far more important – how pagan astrologers could come and see the Christ child and simply bend the knee. They represent all the other religions of the world taking one look at what God has done in the Lord Jesus and then realised how superior he is to any understanding of their own! The same thing is done in those early pictures of the Manger scene, where an Ox and an Ass stand by: they don’t so much reprint the animals in the stable as the other Eastern religions coming to worship at the crib!

So Happy New Year. But a New Year not with vague hopes of a better future, but of a humankind that comes together to recognise that its Creator has come to us in an unique way in Jesus. As we come to a unity in him, may we find the true way where “every neighbour is a friend”

Ian Cardinal

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone

            71                                451

            Ps72 vs 1-9                  118

                        113                              sheet

514                              542/41

394                              394


Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Mary Townsend,  Elsie Richardson, Vera Tomkinson, Neil & Pat Wynne, Gary Kelsall, John Richardson, Peter Bowler,  Catherine Ritchie,  Graham Baker,  James Astle, Miles Brain,  John & Ann Shuttleworth,  Evelyn Cotterill, Margaret Wright, Gren Deakin, Margaret Bott, Molly Wright, Norman Latham, Michael Richardson, Joyce Crowther


And for the departed:

George Wright, Norman Goodwin, Jeff Smith, Phyllis Hunter

Remembering their families and friends at this time

This week:

Tuesday 7th NO DROP INN café – Christmas break

Thursday 9th 9.30am Holy Communion – The Moorings

10.30am Holy Communion – St M&W


SUNDAY 5TH January 4pm Healing and meditation service at St M&W – all welcome. This will be with a Taize flavour this month


Apologies to all members of Aston PCCWe should have met on Wednesday, but the Rector is due at a meeting for Heads and Chairs of school Governors. Date to be re-arranged


A NEW SUNDAY SCHOOLbegins this Sunday in the vestry of St Michael & St Wulfad’s church. Do keep the leaders and children in your prayers and Pray for its success


A Happy and blessed New Year to you all