Dear friends,
Given the scary news reports of the rapid spread of the Covid mutation, it’s probably just as
well that we’ve had to temporarily close Christ Church and Zoomify all our services. Many
thanks to Mrs Val Kirby and the children for the lovely Zoom Nativity Play last Sunday and to
Mike Kirby and his team of readers for the uplifting Zoom Nine Lessons and Carols later in
the day. A special thank you to Meirion Wynn Jones for his superb musical contributions. A
newly composed carol by Meirion was broadcast on Radio 4 in its Sunday service last week.
Our services continue with a mid-week ZOOM EUCHARIST this Wednesday at 10.30am on
December 23 rd .

The Reverend Delyth Richards’ amazing ZOOM CHOCOLATE NATIVITY
SERVICE is at 5pm on CHRISTMAS EVE, and a ZOOM MIDNIGHT MASS will be celebrated at
DAWN COMMUNION) is at 8am on CHRISTMAS DAY. There will also be a ZOOM
EUCHARIST at 9am on St John the Evangelist’s Day (Sunday 27 December). Our Christmas
Appeal this year will be divided between our local Salvation Army and a reliable Armenian
charity helping people made homeless by the recent disastrous war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
One of the joys of Christ Church’s Armenian connection is that we can in fact celebrate
three Christmases. The Armenians follow a very ancient tradition which means that they can
keep Christmas on January 6 th (Etchmiadzin Calendar) or January 18 th (Jerusalem Calendar)
or both (or on the nearest Sunday to them). This cheerful flexibility means that we may still
manage to have a belated Christmas in church (if circumstances admit). In Wales, as well as
keeping the Twelve Days of Christmas, people often observed the Forty Days of Christmas (a
sort of reverse Lent) ending at Candlemas. To alleviate the miseries of lockdown, perhaps
we should do the same. After all, Christmas is not an end, but a beginning.

This Christmas will be a difficult one for many, and perhaps especially for the isolated and
for our exhausted but heroic health workers and carers and those that they look after. Like
all clergy, I’m not allowed to do home communions this year for safety reasons, but I’ll be
glad to contact anyone who needs a chat on the phone. Just let me know. Christmas
reminds us that Jesus is Emmanuel – ‘God with us’ – in our homes and in our hearts, and
with all whom we love both near and far away, on earth and in heaven. That is why, even in
the midst of a pandemic, we can still feel comforted and full of hope. Canon Patrick

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