Photo Credit: David Stephenson
Here is some of the news from King's Church Cockermouth this month.
If you have any questions or want to know more about anything below, please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy! By Roger Bye
We can easily think of joy as an occasional bright response when circumstances are all favourable. A bit like enjoying a rare hot summer’s day! However, the Christmas story thrusts joy into the limelight. When Elizabeth met Mary, the unborn John leaped for joy in her womb. At night, in the fields, the birth of Jesus was announced to the shepherds with the message that it was good news of great joy for everyone. When the star stopped over Bethlehem, the Magi were overjoyed. Isaiah had prophesied that we would drink from the wells of salvation with joy [Isaiah 12 v 3]. Joy is at the heart of knowing Jesus and all He came to do. In the dark and difficult times, we live in, let’s know that there is a deep well of joy. In the famous words of C S Lewis, let’s be "surprised by joy!"
Christmas Light Switch On By Samantha and Matthew Aumonier
This year, we visited Cockermouth Christmas Light Switch On for the first time. It was a festive and joyous occasion that appeared to bring many locals together! We enjoyed the NISCU Primary Puppets show of ‘Follow the Star’. William, our eldest son, was able to have a turn at puppeteering for the last song, while we joined in with the actions. A highlight of the event! Then, we headed outside for mulled wine and mince pies and supported the local Food Bank with a donation, while William and Edward decorated biscuits in the marquee. We bumped into colleagues, the boys’ school friends and church family throughout the early evening – helping us to feel welcome and part of the community here, having moved at the end of the summer holidays. There was bustling atmosphere and it felt like most of Allerdale was there! The fun fair rides, stalls raising money for local charities and organisations, and of course, the Christmas lights, were fantastic. We are looking forward to the season ahead.
Are you looking for some Christmas stories to share with your children or grandchildren this December? Here are a couple of picture book recommendations.
The Longest Wait by Alison Brewis
‘Tickety tock. Tickety tock. It feels like forever, just watching the clock.’
It’s Christmas Eve and two little children are too excited to sleep. All the preparations are made, and they can’t wait for Christmas Day to arrive. Meanwhile, in Nazareth, Mary and Joseph are preparing for their baby son’s birth, nappies and all! Simultaneously, Anna and Simeon are trusting in God’s promises and the whole world is awaiting The Messiah! This short picture book has simple wording, repetition, rhyme and lovely illustrations, and points to the true meaning of Christmas. It’s relatable for children, and there are free follow-up ideas for grown-ups to explore the themes of Christmas with children via the website,www.10ofthose.com.
The Christmas Poem by Bob Hartman
This booklet tells the nativity story through rhyme and illustration for preschool and young children. While this story no longer seems to be available to purchase in paperback form, there is a free downloadable animated version of the story at www.biblesociety.org.uk/christmaspoem- which may even be preferable to some!
If you would like to read the paperback book, speak to Samantha who has a copy! (email@example.com)
The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell
This is a wonderful picture book that retells the Christmas story with a focus on Jesus at its centre. The illustrations are bright and colourful, adding to the story, and the gospel is presented clearly. It would make a great advent book or stocking filler! Recommended for children aged 3-8. There are different versions of this book available including a board book and paperback, as well as an activity book and colouring book that can accompany it.
If you have any more Christmas story recommendations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to see!
Celebration of Kindness Evening By Dave Dunlop
On Tuesday 21st November, Paul and I went to the Celebration of Kindness Evening at the Lakes Hotel, Penrith, representing Kings Church and our Mealshare initiative. Mealshare is our own King’s Church brand of a CFM (Community Food Member). 'Kinder Kind of Kitchen' is a community initiative by The Cumberland Building Society in partnership with FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria, and The Cumberland sponsored the evening.
King’s Church have been working together with church volunteers, the local council, Sainsburys and Lidl to help distribute food and other essentials to local families in need, every Thursday for the last 7 years. We also top up our stocks by buying from Bookers. However, the main thrust of our perishable food comes from FareShare, where we buy crates of food at a nominal cost. FareShare source any surplus food that would normally go to waste from retailers, manufacturers, and producers. The Cumberland Building Society invited FareShare and all its Cumbrian CFMs to a Celebration of Kindness evening. We were delighted to see our Highfield Pantry friends (run by Cockermouth Christian Centre) at the event – they do a fantastic job up in the Highfield estate.
The evening started with an emotional video showing what we and others are doing in the area. It was humbling to see that we are part of a larger Cumbrian network of hot food kitchens, food banks, community supermarkets, breakfast clubs and more. Collectively, we are helping thousands of local singles, couples, families and children, with thousands of useable tonnes of food that would usually be on its way to landfill.
The guest presenter for the evening was local celebrity Helen Skelton, who shared her own experiences of working in teams, and how much greater results can be achieved by teamwork. Each table was hosted by two Cumberland senior staff, and it was encouraging to hear that they are allowed paid time off to go and support local CFMs. Each CFM was presented with an engraved slate award to recognise the work we do in our communities.
We were all made to feel very special for the kindness we show to others.
Well done and thanks to the whole Mealshare team and for Kings Church for supporting us to show kindness to our local community.
Country Living Christmas Fair By Ilke Whitehorn
Hi Church! My husband, Marc, and I have just recently started a jewellery manufacturing
workshop from our house in Bridekirk. After we were both made redundant earlier this year, we knew that it was time to start a new business. We were blessed with an opportunity to exhibit our new range of jewellery at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow in November. I was overwhelmed by the fantastic response we received. I shouldn’t have been so shocked as I know how many of you carry us in prayer! The fair was really busy and I had a lot of positive feedback from the visitors as well as plenty of sales. It is a huge boost for us as it is our first time designing for and selling to the British market. It was a fantastic experience, and I just want to thank each and every one of you who have been so supportive in our journey so far.
Looking forward to Summer 2024… Newday will be taking place from 29th July – 3rd August. It’s a Christian youth festival for 12-18 year olds that takes place at Norfolk Showground. A fun-filled week for young people to engage in prayer meetings, worship, seminars, cafes, sports, life music and more! A wonderful opportunity for friendship, fellowship and learning more about Jesus together! For more information, please speak to Zoe or Joelle.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!