CHRISTMAS: This is the last Village News before the New Year, so it’s my last opportunity to wish everyone the happiest of times at Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

THE FAIR: Waldron’s annual Christmas Fair organised by the Friends of Waldron Churches took place last Saturday and despite a slightly gloomy start weather-wise, it was a tremendous success. Lots of young families came and took their children to see Santa in his Grotto (about 150 children visited him) and then let them loose in Santa’s Workshop to make things with Marion and Dorothy and other volunteers, to model in clay under the guidance of Lynn Merrick or to have their faces painted. The church was alive with children (and not a screen in sight) and their parents found the local history stall of Brian and Angela Gregory absolutely fascinating. Outside amongst the stalls, the hot chestnuts and mulled wine were both very popular and the Star’s barbecue was as always sold out by the time the market packed up. The Pitcher family’s two donkeys were much petted and visited and the two bands which played throughout the day brought welcome cheerfulness as the backdrop to the whole event. About 70 volunteers helped behind the scenes, proof that Waldron and Cross-in-Hand still has community spirit in abundance.

WHAT’S ON: At the pub until December 23, the Christmas Menu is on offer. On December 20, String Theory will be playing from 12.30pm to 3pm and on Christmas Day the bar will be open for drinks from noon to 2.30pm before we all go home to enjoy the family turkey. The pub will be closed on Boxing Day, but open thereafter as usual. On New Year’s Eve, there will be a super ticket-only meal with entertainment from Con Brio. That’s £35 per head and tickets are already selling, so book early. On New Year’s Day, Nick’s ever-popular Brunch Menu will be served from 11am until 3pm (don’t miss it, it’s a fabulous way to start 2016) then in the evening the pub will be closed. But don’t forget to put in your new diary that Wassailing will happen on Saturday January 9 starting at 8pm. It’s such a great evening, don’t miss it.

FOOD, FITNESS AND FEELING FINE: Start the New Year off with a special resolution. We all know that feeling of needing to do something about getting fit and dropping a pound or two and it’s so hard when it feels as if the sky never lightens up and winter will go on forever. Well, 2016 is different, because we have two classes to help you after the festivities are over. On Wednesday January 6 we have a new class at the Lucas Hall. It’s focussing on healthy eating and fun fitness to support personal well being. The class will be led by Jackie Wood who is a fully qualified nutritional therapist and exercise professional. Come along to the open morning on January 6 to find out what it’s all about and what can be achieved with support, knowledge and experience. To book for the open morning, or the course, or just to find out more, contact Jackie on 01435 812950, mobile 07779 316595 or e-mail wood555@aol.com Then, on Monday January 11 at 10am, our regular Yoga class restarts. This will help you to keep your body in good nick and encourage flexibility and proper breathing techniques. Come to both and you’ll start 2016 in good shape.

SERVICES: This Sunday is the fourth in Advent and we’re well into the run-up to Christmas. On Sunday both morning services will be at All Saints’, at 8am for Holy Communion (Reverend George Pitcher will preside and preach) and 10am for Parish Eucharist when the Reverend Peter Jamieson will preside and George Pitcher will preach. In the evening at 6pm at All Saints’ there will be the service of Nine Lessons and Carols which will tell the events of the first Christmas in Bible reading and music. Each reading will be by someone representing the various groups from the village. George Pitcher will lead.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES: On Thursday December 24 there will be a Crib Service at St Bartholomew’s at 4pm. The Midnight Eucharist will start at 11pm at All Saints’ when the church will be packed to the doors and everyone will be there including returning students from College and Uni, families coming to visit parents and grandparents and all those for whom this Midnight service is what Christmas means. All will be welcome. On Friday December 25 there will be Holy Communion at St Bartholomew’s at 8am and then Christmas Day Worship at All Saints’ at 10am when the leader and preacher will be George Pitcher.

AND AFTER: On Sunday December 27 both morning services will be at St Bartholomew’s, at 8am when Reverend Paul Cox will preside and preach, and Parish Matins at 10am led by Christo Corfield and at which Tim Hough will preach. And then we are into the New Year. May 2016 be peaceful across the world.

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