The vicar of Holy Trinity Church and Christ Church, Gosport doesn’t mind if Christmas celebrations start before Advent
Every year there are complaints that Christmas comes earlier than ever.
My first carol service this year was on November 27, and was six days before Advent had even started.
But I have no problem with this at all.
I love Christmas – including all the tacky bits. I have even been using a plug-in inflatable Santa to illustrate my talks!
The fact that it all happens before, during and after Advent gives the church a chance to inject some depth, reflection, thought and prayer into the whole thing – while also being part of the generosity and joy of the season.
The more we share in all this, the more we witness to God becoming one with us in Jesus Christ.
The November carol service was closely followed by my two churches doing their first joint Christmas Fair on December 2.
Even that fair, at Christ Church, happened the day before Advent started.
But it was a great joy – 73 people from both churches, all mucking in together. Live music, fabulous food, fabulous stalls, and even some beautiful owls outside to welcome people in.
Lots of people came to enjoy the atmosphere and support us and the fair made a wonderful £3,000 to support the work of our two churches.
It was a great follow-up to the joint summer fair at Holy Trinity Church.
As you read this, there have been other lovely Christmas services and events, including a Christingle and a carol service at Christ Church, and there are more to come.
Do come along to any of them.
Tomorrow, Christ Church will be open from 10am until 2.30pm so that people can again view our Carol Fest – which involves our church windows all decorated to reflect our favourite carols.
On Sunday, at 6pm we host the Civic Carol Service at Holy Trinity – with the Mayor of Gosport, a fabulous choir, readings, poems and carols.
Christ Church is in Stoke Road, Gosport. Holy Trinity Church is in Trinity Green, Gosport.