As always the Christmas period at Padgate was very busy. It started with us choosing an Advent/ Christmas theme and a charity to support. This year’s theme was ‘no room at the inn’ and the charity we chose to support was the Warrington YMCA on Winmarleigh Street in town. Warrington Borough Council has cut its funding to the YMCA so it is now reliant on donations for its income. A workshop was held to make decorations to go into church windows, all beautifully constructed and lit. All was now ready.
The day before Advent Sunday was our Christmas Market. Hundreds of people came along to church and enjoyed a wide variety of stalls and came across helpers dressed at elves. Over £3,000 was raised.
Our Advent Sunday service saw a packed church hall make advent calendars, prayers and we explored Christmas traditions from other countries. Lots of tea and coffee was drunk. At the end of the service we switched on the church Christmas lights which are on the church tower and which can be seen from adjacent roads. Nativity scenes, stars and angels are our contribution to complete with houses lit up on Padgate Lane. No house had Christmas scenes.
Gift Sunday saw bags of toys going to Action for Children and we enjoyed hearing about the work of Action for Children from Alicia Lawlor, one of their staff.
The Carol Service was arranged by the Worship Leaders and was enjoyed by many visitors. This year we had a real baby to put into the crib. After we shared a meal together we sang carols around a piano at the home of a church member. There was midnight communion on Christmas Eve and a service on Christmas Day.
News Year’s Eve was enjoyed at the home of another church member where we played lots of games, ate too much food and enjoyed fireworks at midnight. A great way to welcome in the new year.
This year the Christmas period all came to an end with a joint service at Padgate on New Year’s day led by Rev’d Stephen Froggatt at which we wrote on tables!!! On the table cloths actually. We all committed ourselves to doing various things in 2017 under categories such as fitness, learning, spirituality, teaching, etc.
Over the Advent and Christmas period we raised £648.10 for the YMCA which we hope will be a small help to them. Everything is now put away before it all starts again next year.