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Dear Friends,

November, the Remembrance month, sees us taking forward plans and activities on several fronts, but also entering the Kingdom Season leading into Advent with an option to use red as the seasonal liturgical colour. Not everyone agrees with the designation of these two weeks, but we will be observing the season in our parishes, leading up to the celebration of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the old church year. It is fitting that we make something of this time, after the ordinary time after Trinity Sunday, leading us into Advent when we think of the first and second comings of God with Us.
As Christians, the person of Jesus is central to our faith, God made human, crucified and dead, resurrected and alive, ascended and one with the Father, present with the people of God whenever two or three are gathered and particularly in the celebration (Eucharist in Greek) which Jesus instituted in the Holy Communion, taught to his disciples at the Last Supper. We are the people of the Kingdom, both amongst us and here and now, and in the 'not yet' of the life to come. How we live that out is our lifelong task, for which we need the help, support, guidance and sometimes challenge of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is for that reason that I am offering an opportunity for everyone to engage with the Bible this Advent in what for some may be a new way. 

Anglicans are not always particularly engaging with the Book of which we are the people, though some are. Knowledge of the Bible can become a badge to collect, or a stick to beat one another with, its obvious misuse by some can become an excuse for others largely ignoring it. The Church both as individual Christians and as a whole, has not always been particularly helpful to ordinary people, in and beyond its walls, in engaging with the Bible, so it is important that no one feels blamed and therefore needs to be defensive about the Bible and their knowledge (or lack of it) of what it says, but also important that a better way is on offer. It is for these reasons that I am offering an Advent series I've called Bible Together, which is an attempt, borrowing shamelessly from any material I can find, to bring together everyone in our churches, and possibly beyond, in looking at the 'big story' of the Bible in what we call the Old Testament, from Creation to the birth of Jesus. There will be passages to read, comments from me and questions to engage with. We shall be using the month of November to prepare, setting up email lists, friendship groups and possibly a Facebook group if it helps, to link with the Sunday themes and help us to grow in our engagement with Scripture in whatever way works best for us. If there is anyone – artist(s) - amongst us who would like to produce (a) colouring sheet(s) for each week, do get in touch with me please. Having something tangible would give another dimension to our Bible study this Advent. I want this to be for all ages and abilities.


Please take part in whatever way you can, and encourage others – I have promised to keep our brothers and sisters of other denominations posted on this, so study groups do not need to be Anglican, indeed could be richer for sharing outside our existing groups.


Every blessing on us all this Kingdom and Advent season.

Love from Hilary

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October look back

Harvest Festivals
All three churches celebrated in their different ways, thank you to our Archdeacon Bev who conducted the service at Rathmell and to everyone in each of the churches who helped decorate church, distribute the gifts, link with the schools and prepare and eat the meals. 

Seasonal Colours for Settle Primary School
All four cloths have been bought and paid for (Thank You Mothers’ Union and individual donors). One set made up by Gillian Rawlins (thank you Gillian) is now in school after thanksgiving at Harvest in Settle church. 

3 PCCs Meeting
Three PCCs met at St Alkelda’s on October 16th and agreed in principle to take forward two projects as three parishes. The first was approval of a 'new improved' new service pattern (see elsewhere for more details). Although there is recognition of potential areas of concern, there was general approval of the result of the listening exercise which took place over the initial proposals. We shall be trialing and monitoring the new pattern over the next 6 months. The second is the agreement that a Parishes Administrator/Priest’s PA is needed and will have to be paid for. All parishes agreed in principle to find some money, some agreed an actual sum, so the project will now be taken forward by the Wardens.

November Prayers
CtiSD prayer meeting takes place at Settle Church on Monday 6th . We pray for a just peace for our world as we remember the First World War. We pray for one another and for our leaders as we prepare for next month when Bible Together and the new service patterns both begin in Advent.