Gift Weekend 2020

St Nicholas Gift Weekend - 5th and 6th December

 

This year has been different in so many ways. There are so many things that we are unable to do – spend time with friends, go on holiday, hug other people, celebrate special occasions and attend weddings and funerals of people we love – among other things. However, it has given us the opportunity to do other things – to take stock of life, to appreciate small acts of kindness, to read the Bible, to listen to what God wants us to do. It has also enabled us to think about different ways of giving.

Usually, we celebrate our patronal festival with the Toy Service. We have remembered St. Nicholas obeying Jesus by selling what he had to give money to the poor. We have remembered the legend of his throwing gold coins into the house of a poor man to provide a dowry for his three daughters and the coins landing in their stockings.

But this year is different. The needs of our neighbours in this time of pandemic are much greater.

Jesus said the first commandment was to love God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and the second commandment was to love your neighbour as yourself. (Mark 12: 29 – 31)

We are asking that on St. Nicholastide, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th, that you make a gift to either or both of the following worthwhile causes:

Our Neighbours in Dereham

For many families in Dereham this year has been tough. Some have lost jobs, work shorter hours or have rent arrears from the first lockdown. To help those in greatest need we propose to support the Food Bank in their preparation of Christmas fare for families. These are the goods they have asked for:

  • Tinned ham
  • Tinned salmon
  • Tinned custard
  • Mince Pies
  • Christmas Puddings
  • Selection Boxes
  • Biscuits
  • As a special reference to St. Nicholas, why not include a chocolate orange or chocolate coins.

(We regret that this year the Salvation Army are not accepting gifts of toys for distribution in Dereham.)

 

Our Church of St. Nicholas

This year has been special in that we have welcomed a new Rector. The Church is now open daily, our congregation is increasing and we can partake in daily services on-line.

However, the pandemic has had a disastrous effect on Church finances. Less money has been collected from services, especially festivals. Social events and fundraising have been halted. And yet we still have obligations. There is a shortfall in our budget this year of over £6000. Could you help our Church in its mission to tell the good news of Jesus Christ by giving more generously this year?

But how much should we give?

Jesus tells of the great value of the widow’s gift when she gives all she has. (Mark 12: 41 – 44)

Perhaps we could give to others money that we will save in these difficult times:

  • The cost of a Christmas meal
  • The money we would have spent on fuel visiting family
  • The price of a meal we might have eaten out with friends at Christmastime
  • Money we would have spent celebrating with others from social clubs
  • If we don’t need it, our winter fuel allowance

 

What to do now:

Bring your gifts (either or both) to St. Nicholas Church on 5th or 6th December between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm.

THANK YOU.


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