NATIVITY

CHRISTINGLE

CAROLS

22 Dec – 4 pm

Stratford Park

Band Stand

Words for our Nativity - Christingle - Carols event

If you’re attending our Christmas event in Stratford Park, these are the words of the service. You’ll be able to follow along and join in when you can.

Welcome & Introduction: Kate Stacey

Opening Ceremony of Light

Accompanied by The Raga Babas, ‘Lullay Lullah’ by Matthew Heyse-Moore

Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light,
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given,
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray,
Cast out our sin and enter in be born to us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us our Lord Emmanuel.

Our story: The Stroud Nativity

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a land like this one, there lived in the town of Cheltenham a woman named Mary…

One night, an angel came to Mary – which was a bit of a shock. Mary was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, and the angel told her that she would have a baby – who would be, wait for it, the son of God. This was a lot to take in.

At that time occupying forces ruled the land and it was announced that they wanted to count all the people in the nation. Everyone had to go back to the place they were born. Joseph took Mary, who was now quite large because she was soon to have her baby, to Stroud – a small town with 5 valleys. The journey down the A46 on a donkey was long and they were exhausted when they arrived.

Carol: Little Donkey

Little donkey, little donkey, on the dusty road,
Got to keep on plodding onward with your precious load.
Been a long time little donkey, through the winters night,
Don’t give up now little donkey, Bethlehem’s in sight!

Ring out those bells tonight: Bethlehem, Bethlehem.
Follow that little star tonight: Bethlehem, Bethlehem.

Little donkey, little donkey, journeys end is near,
There are wise men waiting for a sign to bring them here.
Do not falter, little donkey, there’s a star ahead,
It will guide you, little donkey, to a cattle shed.

Ring out those bells tonight: Bethlehem, Bethlehem.
Follow that little star tonight: Bethlehem, Bethlehem.

Little donkey, little donkey, on the dusty road,
Got to keep on plodding onward with your precious load.

Our story continues

Mary and Joseph staggered down the last of the Painswick Road… they’d had enough, and not feeling able to go any further down Beeches Green, they took a right towards a shop that seemed to sell everything, and shoppers crowded the streets making their way to the market on this Christmas Eve, pushing and shoving… it was hard work getting through and the donkey was getting stressed…

…thankfully they found the Old Nelson pub, and made their way into reception. They were told, firmly, to leave the donkey outside. The receptionist laughed when they asked for a room for the night on Christmas Eve. ‘You haven’t booked? Are you joking?’ And looking nervously at Mary, she said ‘shouldn’t you be at the Maternity Hospital on Field Road?’

…’look’, she said, realising they were young refugees with little money in a fraught situation, ‘we do have a stable in the middle of the Stratford Park across the way – it doubles as a bandstand… you could stay there for the night…’

Some words from the bible

The bible says:

‘Mary gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in an animal feeding trough – there was no room for them in the inn.’

Carol: Away in a Manger [Children sing verses 1 & 2]

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head,
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the night sky
and stay by my side till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever, and love me I pray,
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with Thee there

Our story continues

…thankfully they found the Old Nelson pub, and made their way into reception. They were told, firmly, to leave the donkey outside. The receptionist laughed when they asked for a room for the night on Christmas Eve. ‘You haven’t booked? Are you joking?’ And looking nervously at Mary, she said ‘shouldn’t you be at the Maternity Hospital on Field Road?’

…’look’, she said, realising they were young refugees with little money in a fraught situation, ‘we do have a stable in the middle of the Stratford Park across the way – it doubles as a bandstand… you could stay there for the night…’

On the dark hills of the valleys, shepherds sat warming themselves by the blaze of the fire, their sheep resting safely in their care. It was good to sit there resting, watching, telling their stories, gazing at the stars…

…then one of the stars seemed to flood the landscape as if the heavens had opened… as the shepherds’ eyes got used to the brilliance of the light they realised the light was a thousand angels… and they were singing:-…

Solo Song: Born in the Night

Our story continues

And coming over the valleys, three teachers of great learning, rich in knowledge and wise in mysteries continued on their journey into Stroud. They could read the sky and were following a shooting star that had appeared in the night skies and then settled over the Stratford Park Bandstand. They knew its meaning and they were set on following its path to honour the birth of a new King…

And coming over the valleys, three teachers of great learning, rich in knowledge and wise in mysteries continued on their journey into Stroud. They could read the sky and were following a shooting star that had appeared in the night skies and then settled over the Stratford Park Bandstand. They knew its meaning and they were set on following its path to honour the birth of a new King…

Carol: We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are,
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King for ever, ceasing never,
over us all to reign.

O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.  (2 x at end)

Introduction of our Nativity characters and their charity work: Barrie Voyce

With huge thanks for the dedicated work of:

The Door
SWEP
Christian Aid
Good News for Everyone
Illuminate
Grace- Network
Stroud Foodbank
Listening Post
Street Pastors
Especially for You
Marah
Tiddlywinks
Ignition
S4U

And all that they bring to our life as a town and district

We sing, as a prayer

What can I give Him poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb?
If I were a wise man, I would do my part?
Yet what I can I give Him – Give my heart.

Introduction of Christingles: Kate Stacey

Carol: Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
all is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia.
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light,
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.

The First Noel
(chorus sung a few times)

Noel, noel, noel, noel. Born is the King of Israel.

Reflection: Simon Howell

Prayers

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
For ever and ever, Amen.

Carol: God rest ye merry Gentlefolk

God rest ye merry gentlefolk,
let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour
was born on Christmas Day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
when we were gone astray.

Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy 

In Bethlehem, in Israel
this blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger
upon this blessed morn,
To which His Mother Mary
did nothing take in scorn.

Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.

Fear not then, said the Angel,
let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
from Satan’s pow’r and might.

Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.

Blessing: Kate Stacey

May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Joseph
and Mary and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Song: we wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin,
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

A Happy Christmas
to you all!

Website Suggestion

Getting in touch

Open Vicarage Instructions

If you would prefer to ring in

Dial 020 3956 9054

When requested enter the PIN: 426 239 892#

What happens when you click this button?

On a desktop computer

In order for this to work you will need a computer with at least a microphone and speakers. You do not have to have camera, but obviously it helps.

A new window opens and you are taken to one of our video conference rooms using Google Meet

You may need to grant permission to use your camera and microphone.

We will get a notification that someone wants to join the call and we’ll let you in.

On an iPhone or Android

Download the app Google Meet first. Open the app and give it the permissions it needs to access your camera and microphone.

Then come back and click the Ding Dong! button on this page.

Communion during this time

In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.

For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.

We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.

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