Did you open your Advent Calendar this morning? Although we’ve been counting down to Christmas for sometime now there’s no doubt that this is the real start, that moment when you come downstairs and see your calendar waiting for you, perhaps with a tasty treat, or maybe a lovely picture behind the door. These days Advent Calendars come in all shapes and sizes, including luxury ones with fancy drinks, beauty products, sachets of tea to name just a few. But as we open those doors and extract the gift inside, do we spare a moment to think why we are doing this? After all, Advent is not really about a chocolate or a tea bag – Advent is the moment when we start to prepare ourselves for the birth of our Lord. It is a time for reflection, a time for remembering, and, whilst it is predominantly a joyous time, it is also a good time to think about our Christian place in this world.
So this weekend, the first Sunday of Advent, can we take some time away from the decorations, the Advent calendars, the shopping and planning and set aside some time for our Lord? The first Sunday of Advent represents the hope that the arrival of Jesus brings to all, and yet for many in our world it is hard to be hopeful. There are those that are suffering – perhaps from climate catastrophe or from conflict, there are those without a roof over their heads; and (closer to home) there are those who are struggling or scared for their future. People who miss meals from time to time (or all the time), people who dare not use the heating or who live in poor conditions – all around us there are people for whom Christmas is a time of stress not hope. As we open our calendar doors, and light our first Advent candle, can we think how we may bring some of that Christmas hope to those around us who are struggling. It may be as simple as sharing your lunchtime snack, or paying for a warm drink for someone on the streets. Maybe we can write to our MP about the need to do more for the climate, or visit an elderly neighbour to see if there is anything they need. Whatever we do this weekend, let us remember that this season is about God and no matter how many baubles and lights we hangs, the only real way to bring Christmas cheer to others is through our actions.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Following Boris Johnson’s 8pm announcement we now know that as of midnight tonight the country has entered a new period of Lockdown, a Lockdown that includes the closure of school.
School will be open for the children of Key Workers and for pupils who are deemed vulnerable. All pupils will be provided with work in order for them to keep learning.
Tonight’s announcement was very short notice for you as parents and also for us as a Staff. Tomorrow, by 11am there will be three tasks on the school website for each Class to complete as their Tuesday learning. However, School will be closed to ALL pupils tomorrow.
Staff, however, will be in school preparing for the rest of the Lockdown. Through tomorrow we will prepare school to make it safe for Key worker pupils and vulnerable children to return.
We will send out a form for you to apply for a place in the Keyworker Bubbles and we will let you know more about how children will be learning remotely. We will do our very best to re-open to Key Worker children and vulnerable pupils by Wednesday.
I am aware of how difficult this is for you all, School closing creates a multitude of problems for everyone but data surrounding this awful disease dictates that this is a necessary step. As ever, the safety and health of everyone must be a priority.
Thank you for your continued support and we will be in frequent contact over the next few days.