brinkburn road, darlington, DL3 6DX

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A church for people of all ages in the heart of the community



Vicar's Letter of the Month  - November


The Reverend Lissa Scott writes …….


Dear Friends


And Christmas is upon us yet again! I wonder, do you look forward to it or dread all the work it entails?


One piece of advice I always give to couples preparing for their weddings, is  not to get so stressed out about the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses or the seating plan at the reception etc. etc. that they stop enjoying this special time or lose sight of what it is all about. The same applies to Christmas: celebrating the season of Christmas should be a special time that we enjoy, rather than getting stressed and exhausted.


There are quite a few other comparisons between celebrating weddings and celebrating Christmas. Both occasions tend to be times when families spend time more time together than usual and when different branches of the family get together. This should be a joy, but can lead to tension and even arguments. I knew one family where members didn’t speak to each other for years after somebody got married on World Cup day in 1966 and some of the family spent most of the day looking in television shop windows. Equally, statistics tell us that more marriages break up just after Christmas than at any other time!


Another comparison is the financial pressure these occasions can lead to. There is the temptation to spend more than we can afford to try and make the day really “special”. We all know the expensive expectations for Christmas presents that advertising can lead to and we’re all used to hearing how much weddings can cost, and. But the question arises: can money and the things it buys really make a day “special”?


It would be naïve to say that material things don’t help. Wonderful clothes and food and locations do make weddings memorable and mostly we do enjoy expensive gifts. But deep down they aren’t what really matter. What matters is the love on which these occasions are based.


Weddings are about the love between a couple, and the love and support their families offer them. Christmas is (as the name suggests) about the coming of Jesus, about God’s love taking shape in the world in the form of a tiny baby, which we celebrate with those we love most.


Everything else is just peripheral, trivial. Love is what matters, what makes the day “special”. Remember that if the pre-Christmas preparations get too much for you!


Merry Christmas!


Lissa Scott