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Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church

News from rural France from John and Betty French
(Betty is Pam Conquest’s sister)

Christmas always starts for us with the ecumenical Advent carol service that includes well-known readings and carols, except it is held in two languages. You think that over the years you have learnt how to sing your favourites until trying to do it in a foreign language!

The other big event in the chaplaincy is the Christmas Fayre, which is one of the two big money raising events along with the one in the Summer that help to keep things going. With people scattered over an area the size of Wales there will be many people at these events that you never see any other time.

Suddenly money has become  an even larger topic than normal as the members of the chaplaincy have been asked to vote on buying a house. Our last chaplain was able to buy his own family home, while our current one already lived here before taking the post. A new appointment will have to be made in three years at the latest and the wardens want to be able to attract the best person by offering a suitable house as part of the package. Should it be decided to buy one it will be a major step into the unknown.  Church buildings here are owned  by the local council and not by the church so no upkeep of bricks and mortar has been a concern. We feel sure that the right decision will be made, but it will require everyone to think how important the Church is to them and give generously if the plan is to succeed.
Meanwhile the chaplaincy players are starting rehearsals for their next big offering in the spring. Pantomimes and music halls are all within their range and they are always well supported. House groups, prayer meetings book clubs Scrabble groups meet and fun days for the children take place most months. All these things help to bring people together as at B&O, except that distance and food play a much greater part in the church life here.

Joyeux Noel to you all
John and Betty French

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