Advent 2. Prepare the way
Isaiah 40. 1-11
Mark 1. 1-8
Advent is such a special time. It is a time for waking up to listen to the Spirit of God calling deep within us.
In the first bible reading we hear a cry of consolation for a people desperate for peace. We are challenged to make a straight path to welcome the Lord into our lives and by doing so to search for peace. Our world is thirsting for this peace now, the deep peace that only God can bring.
In the Gospel of Mark, the gospel reading for this week, we are reminded of the words from the prophet Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord”. These words are taken up by John the Baptist, that voice crying in the wilderness. He calls us to repentance and renewal: that is turning our lives around so that we will recognise the face of Christ.
So on this second week of Advent, we continue our Advent journey together, praying the gift of seeing Christ in all and praying for peace in our lives and in the world.
Do use the angel templates to write down your hopes and longing for peace in our troubled world.
An Advent invitation from St Beuno’s Outreach
Sunday 10th Dec 2023 at 7pm-8.30pm
‘This is a chance to reflect and pray quietly together as we patiently watch and wait, preparing to celebrate Jesus’s coming into the world. For more details go to
Please can you promote the Penlee Cluster Advent calendar on the cluster website. So thoughtful and poignant.
Penlee Cluster Film Club
Wednesday Dec 13th at 2pm in the Kings Arms Paul
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM BOB
The film is a follow-up to A Street Cat Named Bob, which was based on the true story of homeless busker James Bowen and his handsome ginger tom Bob, a stray he’d nursed back to health. The inseparable duo had a pitch outside Angel tube station in north London where Bowen sold the Big Issue.
In this second film James looks back at the last Christmas he and Bob spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times – providing strength, friendship and inspiration – and ultimately teaching each other about the true meaning of Christmas spirit along the way.
Church Christmas Card
The cards are now ready and available in each of our churches. We ask that you take cards and deliver them to your friends and neighbours. You might want to deliver to the whole of your street or a group that you belong to.
Christmas Holiday Club
Wed 20th, Thurs 21st, Fri 22nd Dec
Paul church hall. We are really looking forward to our Christmas Holiday Club and have lots of exciting activities planned. We will take 12 children from each of our link schools. Children must attend all three days. If you think you can help with craft, swimming, games or meal preparation on Thursday or Friday please contact Molly.
We continue to pray for world peace. You might like to join in offering prayers of peace and having conversations about peace by contacting friends and families across the UK and the world. Write a message on one of our angel cards, cut it out and hang it up in one of our churches.
We will pray these messages and prayers as we prepare for Christmas.
Angel trails have now been laid around Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole. Why not go around one of these areas looking for the angels and their words and you might want to write a poem. Family workers Molly and Jane are keen that you try out the trails.
Wreath making workshop.
On Thursday 14th Dec at St Mary’s at 11am we are offering a wonderful festive activity, wreath making, led by “soft dough”. Come along and get creative to a backdrop of Christmas music, mulled wine and nibbles. Free event but donations appreciated.
Headlines from Church Councils and core staff meetings
1. Penlee cluster churches have paid the MMF (church ministry costs) to the diocese in full this year. This is a tremendous achievement everyone in these financially challenging times. Thank you so much everyone.
2.The diocesan call for MMF for Penlee Cluster has been set for 2024. It’s £53k, so no rise from last year.
3.St Mary’s and St John’s have decided to follow the example of Paul congregation and have an “adopt a toilet” scheme as part of their environmental awareness focus.
4.Three of the churches are going to have a carbon footprint audit and aim to cut their carbon usage by 10% next year. A brave but necessary step toward caring for our planet.
5.Paul church has agreed to accept the grant from St Paul’s Trust so that an outside “forest school” area can be created in the meadow. We hope that it will be ready for Easter Day.
6.We are delighted that so much focus on our work with people on the edges is taking place across the cluster and is now very much part our DNA: the working out of the “bigger table”.
7.It is important that our “keeping in touch” forms are readily available in each church so that people who are visiting or are taking part in cluster-based activities can sign up to get the newsletter and other relevant information.
8.The recently started “footprint” support group for people who are bereaved is now happening each month and seems to be appreciated. The next one will happen on the first Monday in January.
Financial Giving to the churches in the cluster.
We are always very grateful to people who contribute financially to the work of the churches in our communities. Some people do this by giving cash or cheque. Other people give through setting up a standing order so that their financial gift goes directly into the church account. It may be that at the beginning of another church year you might be in a position to think about your financial gift and giving to the work of the church in this place. Forms are available in paper form. Please speak to a church Treasurer or email Admin Keno if you need more details. Of course, not everyone is in a position to give financially, after all it is a very difficult time for some. So remember that there are so many ways to support the work of our churches, through prayer, through giving of your time and energy.
Choosing a new bishop
The diocese has started the appointment process with the launch of a survey as part of wide consultation about what best describes the diocese and what particular qualities are sought in the new bishop. You can find out more here.
A social event to say a huge thanks to our headteacher.
14th Dec at St Mary’s church 6pm for 7pm
After the St Mary’s school play, we will be having a barn dance. This will be a very new experience for our children and many parents so do come along and join in the fun. We have been so fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed headteacher of our church school.
Christmas Day lunch
25th December 1230 – 4pm St Mary’s church PZ
Once again we are holding a community Christmas Day lunch….with all the trimmings and gifts. We now have enough volunteers, but you might be able to help out by providing hot Christmas lunch food or gifts for people attending. Please contact Keno.
RE WEEK…..a whole host of angels
Paul Church played host to children of Mousehole School as part of their RE Week. They linked in with the Cluster Messages of Hope theme. Every child created an Angel with their personal Message of Hope and they will soon be forming the flight path over the aisles in Paul Church.
We also did some reflection on the times that messages were communicated at different points in the First Christmas story – sometimes by angels sometimes by dreams. With these questions.
1 What are angels?
2 Where do you hear about angels in the Christmas stories?
3 What are the messages?
4 What explanation do you have for these phenomena?
5 What is Christmas Peace and Hope?
6 What are the sounds of hope and peace?
7 What messages of peace do the world need today?
8 How do you get your message out there?
And there were hands on activities for the children to embed the thinking.
So looking at the message to Mary they made angels out of rolled icing and decorated it with a key word from the story.
Hearing the story of the shepherds they noticed at first they were afraid. So they thought of places in the world today where people might be scared and composed text messages to send them as encouragement.
Looking again at the shepherds’ story, and the song the angels sang on the Bethlehem hillside they composed on xylophones a song of’ Peace To This Earth’ today. And highlighted Gaza Ukraine and the Antarctic as places needing peace.
From the visit of the Magi they looked at the courage they showed in not going back to Herod after they received a message. The response task was to design a tattoo that demonstrated the virtue of courage.
Paul Community Orchard
We now have all the Church permissions and agreements with CORMAC in place for the launch of our Community Orchard in the churchyard known as the Cholera Field
Many thanks to Dixie Dean and Jane Haward for all their hard work to get us this far. We are being supported by Forest for Cornwall and so we can become part of their ambitious plan for increasing number of trees being planted across Cornwall. We have put in request for fruit trees and wait to see what will be delivered and hope to start planting next year. If you would like to be involved or find out more, please contact Dixie or Jane or Andrew
Christingle Service at St Mary’s church.
Monday 18th December at 2pm
At the end of this service, we say a formal goodbye and thankyou to our head teacher Hilary as she begins her retirement.
We will also be saying goodbye to Mike Cotton and our chair of governors, Jeff, who will be standing down as governors and giving thanks for the ways they have been involved in education for the whole of their working lives.
Tues 19th at 10am: Christingle at Madron church
TAKE BACK THE NIGHT – walk and vigil
This was an outstanding community event which we were privileged to host at St Mary’s. Some 200 people were involved in the walk (in solidarity with women experiencing violence from men) and crowded into church for short speeches and a 2 minute reflective silence after 87 names were read of women murdered by men in the UK this year – a shocking figure. The evening included some powerful singing by a local choir and a spectacular dance by youngsters from the BDC and ended with more than 100 people sharing refreshments and enjoying conversations with friends old and new.
The organisers hope to return to St Mary’s for future events!