My name is Louise and I am the Priest in Charge of St Giles, Balderton and All Saints, Barnby in the Willows.
Although I have only been here for a short while I have been deeply moved and encouraged as I’ve met with people and heard stories of what God has done and is doing in their lives and it has been great to take part in so many occasions when the church and the community come together.
As we engage with our diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper and continue to reflect on our journey so far I look forward to all that God has in store for our communities as we serve him and share in his mission here. In the coming months we will together discover more of the love of Jesus as we grow in our own discipleship and invite others to join us.
If you would like to find out more about what is going on in our churches, if you have questions about the Christian faith or would just like to chat then please get in touch. Revd Louise Holliday
My Latest Newsletter Article: December2017
We are fast approaching the end of another year as we find ourselves at the beginning of December and the season of Advent.
The word Advent means Coming. So, what or who is coming? Well if we look around us we won’t be able to miss the fact that Christmas is coming. In fact, the retail industry would have us believe that Christmas has been coming since the end of September. My birthday is on October 1st and I always know it’s on its way because that’s the time when selection boxes and advent calendars start to appear in the shops.
All of this points to the fact that we’re not very good at waiting. If we’re looking forward to a special occasion and finding it hard to wait we respond by pulling the occasion forward. And so, because we’re excited about Christmas, we start our preparations early, bringing the celebration forward, helping to ease our impatience. This may seem like a good idea and certainly being well organised is helpful, but often the consequence can be that we lose sight of the very thing we were waiting for and looking forward to.
One year, when I was a about 8 or 9 years old, I couldn’t wait for Christmas Day and so I discovered where my parents had hidden our presents and I carefully unwrapped mine to take a peek and then carefully wrapped them up again, thinking my parents wouldn’t be able to tell. But, of course, they did know and wisely told me that I would regret not waiting for the surprise. They were right. On Christmas morning when everyone else was excitedly opening their presents, not knowing what was inside, I knew exactly what each of my gifts were and knowing took the shine off unwrapping them. I wish I’d waited.
The season of Advent encourages us to wait – but not in a passive, inactive way, but rather during Advent we are encouraged to wait with expectation and prepare ourselves to receive afresh the wonder of the Incarnation, the wonder of God coming to us in the form of a helpless baby, born now more than two thousand years ago but also to look forward when He will return again and bring the whole of creation together under the just and peaceful rule of God.
So how do we wait? Well, like the season of Lent, Advent is a time of reflection and preparation. Waiting can be about stepping aside the busyness and finding a prayerful time alone, but it can also be about doing things too. Join us at a Christmas Service, read the story of Christmas in the Bible (The book of Matthew is the best place), or maybe even have a conversation with a friend and ask what they make of the real Christmas story.
How ever you spend this season I pray that you will have a truly blessed Advent and Christmas.
Blessings, Rev Louise