On 12th November our Remembrance Day Service to commemorate the fallen in past and recent Wars was well attended. Although a naturally sombre occasion, the church looked beautiful, with vases of poppies placed around it, and it was good to see new faces in the church paying their respects.

Simon and I have been organising the Khazi project. Fund raising is very time consuming, so a big thank you to Simon for his continued hard work in applying for funding. We are hoping for the works to start early next year so another plug for the fundraising events which continue with a Christmas Concert from the Bondleigh Barn Band on 2nd December, in Belstone Village Hall. The bar opens at 7.00pm, with the concert beginning at 7.30pm. Please see posters.

On the following evening, The Tors is holding a Quiz night, organised by Kay. Everyone is welcome – teams of four at the cost of £5 per head. Cheese and biscuits will be served at the interval. It should be good fun, so please come along to help support our project. Many thanks to Eddy and the Bondleigh Band, along with Kay and the Tors, for their time and organisation.

The Posada begins its journey from the Church at our Christingle event on 26th November at 5pm. This involves many of the villagers taking in the Nativity figurines, and displaying them in a window with a lit candle to represent Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. They will then be placed in the Crib on Christmas Eve. It is a lovely sentiment and great for the village community to join together in this experience. If anyone would like to be involved in 2018’s Posada, please let me know and I will aim to include you on the journey next year.

As always, December is a busy month in the Church. Our Carol Service will take place on the 17th at 4pm, followed by festive refreshments. There will be two Services on Christmas Eve, as it falls on a Sunday, firstly with the Crib Service at 4pm, where we hope to see plenty of children and it would be absolutely fabulous if they would like to attend suitably dressed as Angels, Wise Men, Donkeys, Shepherds, et cetera. Or just come as you are! This little drama will be followed by refreshments. The second Service (Midnight Mass) is to be held at 9.30pm and will be Holy Communion. In particular, this Service is always a poignant one, attended by families coming together at this special time of year. All are welcome.

From everyone at Belstone Church we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

St Mary’s Sticklepath

Firstly, a big thank you to the hard-working ‘Big Breakfast’ team for nominating St Mary’s as a beneficiary from the event held on 28th October. Also to the diners (who enjoyed a delicious breakfast), which resulted in a generous donation of £157.60 for church funds.

On 9th December from 2pm we will be decorating the church and setting up the Nativity figures in readiness for the Carol Service. Offers of help and donations of holly etc., will be very welcome! Steve Cook will be taking our Carol Service at 4pm on the 10th. This is with the South Tawton school choir. There will be a celebration afterwards with mulled wine and mince pies in the Village hall.

Our Christmas Day family service will be held at 10.30am. We hope you will be able to join us.

Wishing you all the joys of this special time and in the year to come.