The John Lewis advert has been launched. The Christmas tree sellers opened their stalls. The nights are darker and the weather is definitely colder. Costa are selling their special Christmas coffees once again and we’ve even had the annual Festival of Light and Berkhamsted is glowing! Advent has begun and we are counting down expectantly for the 25th of December. Advent is a time of preparation, so to give you a bit of a head start, here’s seven ways you can join in the celebrations at Sunnyside this year:
- Be part of the Christmas Choir
Each year we put together a choir to serenade us at our Carols by Candlelight service. Anyone and everyone is welcome to be in the choir: it’s more about taking part than it is about being a professional singer! There’s a few rehearsals booked in already, so get in touch with Giles as soon as you can – you might discover a new hidden talent you didn’t know you had!
- Dress up for the Nativity
If singing isn’t something that appeals, then why not become part of the motley crew that forms our infamous nativity service. On Sunday 11th December at the 10.30am service, we’ll be led through the story of ‘Straw and Order’, a fun filled retelling of the original story that we know so well. Whether you’re 8 months, 8 years or 80 years old – we’ve got a part for you. So speak to Sharon and get ready to wear a tea towel on your head.
- Mulled Wine & Mince Pies
After our Carols by Candlelight service, we always enjoy a glass of wine and a mince pie or two. It’s the perfect way to finish a beautiful service and really get into the festive spirit. Why not volunteer to help the team of people organising the refreshments after this popular service? No singing or dressing up involved – honest! Just try not to drink all the mulled wine!
- Get to know the Neighbours
As part of the Church of England, we’re situated in the middle of a parish. This means we’ve got about 800 houses located close to us- including two pubs! Each year we make an effort to say hello and give out Christmas cards to each house in the parish, including a message of seasonal cheer and invites to Christmas services. Perhaps you could take a few cards to give to those living near to you? It’s a great way to be out in our community and get to know those living on our doorstep.
- Join the Welcome Team
With lots of additional services during the festive period, we’re always in need of more people to welcome others to church. If you think you could be a smiling face that greets others as they arrive at Sunnyside, we’d love you to let us know. This is particularly important as we expect to welcome lots of visitors and we certainly want them to feel at home at Sunnyside.
- Sing like a Choir of Angels
Even if you’ve not got the most angelic of voices, this is the one for you… On Monday 19th December we’ll meet at Sunnyside before heading out Carol Singing along George Street and Ellesmere Road (if you live here, you’ve been warned!). We don’t collect any money at all, instead offering mince pies and chocolate reindeer to all that we meet – its lots of fun and definitely not to be missed! We finish by heading back up to Sunnyside and having fish and chips, but make sure order in advance!
- Come along and be a part of it!
It might be that nothing on the above list works for you this year – but fear not! The best way to celebrate Christmas at Sunnyside is to come and be a part of it. Whether you come for the chaos of Messy Christmas, the stillness of Midnight Communion or the joy of our Christmas Day celebration, we’d love to see you. There’s so much going on this year and we hope that all will feel welcome at Sunnyside!