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St Michael & All Angels                                        Jane Pemberton - Churchwarden       Angela Smythe - Lay-reader Register: December 15th Interment of Ashes Doreen Cooper December 16th Thanksgiving Service and interment of Ashes Jytte Cooper                                                              Interment of Ashes Lorraine Gordon Diary Dates: Sunday 5th February 9am Xplore Family Worship and breakfast in Village Hall. All welcome. Lent Groups begin the week of 6th March. Look out for details in March Journal and on Notice sheets. Butcombe Church News Have you seen them yet, those heralds of Spring, with their pure, white flowers and green leaves? Snowdrops, also named Candlemas bells, appearing in time for the Feast of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the Temple, revealing Him to the world, and for Mary to gain priestly permission to touch holy things, which had been forbidden since childbirth, an essential requisite of Jewish law. “Churching” of mothers will be remembered by older readers, based on a Jewish purification rite, as above, performed in church or maternity hospital chapels. Nowadays, a thanksgiving service may be held which involves the whole family – distinct from the rite of Baptism. The Festival of Candlemas encourages, like the snowdrop, a promise of detoxification, a renewal of ourselves, not only physical but also spiritual, and, like spring-cleaning, not only of and for ourselves, but also for society to address the issues of poverty, injustice, unemployment and topical concerns, such as global warming and refugees. The coming year promises to be worrying or exciting, undoubtedly very interesting, on the national and global spectrum. Yet, like the old priest and priestess, in the Temple, who saw and recognised Jesus as the Light of the World, in Him the glory of God Himself, as the snowdrops follow the winter darkness bringing hope and joy, we too are created and called to spread Christ’s light to the darker corners of God’s wonderful creation and His disadvantaged children. May the blessings of peace, love and hope be among us all this coming year. Angela Smythe
 Pilates classes at Butcombe Village Hall - Tuesday and Thursday evenings.