St. Michael and All Angels has been a centre of Christian worship in the Birchwood area for over 60 years.
Our principal service is Holy Communion on Sunday morning, with a Sunday Club for children.
We also have a thriving Messy Church that meets once a month where youngsters (of all ages!) are getting to know God through art and craft!


This Week

Sunday 10 December 2017:

Second Sunday of Advent

09:30 – Eucharist with a performance by the Fantastic Drama & Dance Group
Celebrant & Preacher: Rev’d Paul Seymour

from the New Testament2 Peter 3.8-15a
the Gospel readingMark 1.1-8
other readings for the day • Isaiah 40.1-11 • Psalm 85.1-2,8-13

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succour us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.

Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation, and also looks ahead to his final advent as judge at the end of time. The readings and liturgies not only direct us towards Christ’s birth, they also challenge the modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement.

The characteristic note of Advent is expectation, rather than penitence, although the character of the season is easily coloured by an analogy with Lent.
The anticipation of Christmas under commercial pressure has also made it harder to sustain the appropriate sense of alert watchfulness, but the fundamental Advent prayer remains ‘Maranatha’ – ‘Our Lord, come’ (1 Corinthians 16.22).
Church decorations are simple and spare, and purple is the traditional liturgical colour.

In the northern hemisphere, the Advent season falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work throughout Advent and Christmas. The lighting of candles on an Advent wreath was imported into Britain from northern Europe in the nineteenth century, and is now a common practice. The Moravian custom of the Christingle has similarly enjoyed great success in Britain since the latter part of the twentieth century, with the encouragement of the Children’s Society; Christingle services may take place before or after Christmas. The Third Sunday of Advent was observed in medieval times as a splash of colour in the restrained atmosphere of Advent (Gaudete or ‘Rose Sunday’), and the last days of Advent were marked by the sequence of Great ‘O’ Antiphons, which continue to inspire modern Advent hymns and meditations.


The Fantastic Drama & Dance Group will be performing for us on Sunday 10th December, during the morning service. It would be great to have as many people as possible at the service to see their performance.

Messy Church: “Messy Christingle” – Thursday 25th January 2018 3.30 – 5.30pm. Help on the day would be very much appreciated – All Welcome.

Thanks to Frances Hartley for organising the wreath making class with afternoon tea. It was not only a very enjoyable afternoon, but it also raised £100 for St. Michael’s.

Hatfield Community Christmas Meal on Sunday December 17th from 4.00-6.30pm in the Howe Dell Community Hall. Tickets Adults £5 Family Tickets £10. Only 50 places available so please order now! There is a poster at the back of the church or more information from Sue Stilwell (01438 716338).

INFO! Saturday 06 January 2018 – Ramble 167
Ramblers will meet at 10.00am St. Michael’s car park – more information to follow.

“Ramble 166 – Seventeen ramblers enjoyed a stroll around Stanborough, we were joined by three roadies for a Christmas meal at the Red Lion. A good walk and a good meal.”

Messy Church
“Messy Christingle”: Thursday 25th January 2018 – 15:30 to 17:30
Great fun for both children and adults involving arts, crafts and games plus a time to talk and a cooked tea.

Looking ahead…
Tuesday 21 November – Night Shelter Open Day – St. Luke’s
Thursday 30 November – Messy Church – St. Michael’s
Saturday 06 January – 08:00 – Men’s Breakfast – St. Michael’s Church Hall
Saturday 06 January – 10:00 – Ramble 167
Monday 09 January – 20:00 – PCC Meeting – Committee Room
Thursday 25 January – Messy Church: “Messy Christingle” – St. Michael’s

Christmas at St. Michael and All Angels
Sunday 17 December – 18:30 – Lessons and Carols (followed by mulled wine and mince pies)
Wednesday 20 December – 19:00 – Community Christmas Sing-Along
(followed by mulled wine and mince pies)
Sunday 24 December – 16:00 – Christmas Eve: Crib Service
Sunday 24 December – 21:00 – Christmas Eve: “Early” Midnight Mass
Friday 25 December – 09:30 – Christmas Day: Family Eucharist