Dear Friends,

We come yet again to that time of year when the familiar tableaus of the nativity are on cards, decorations, and displays.  We know what the scene is supposed to be; who is supposed to stand where and what they should look like.  It got me to thinking.  Why does Mary always wear blue?  So, I did a bit of digging.

Early traditions have Mary wearing dark blue, for a variety of reasons. It represents the darkest part of the night, the colour of the heavens. By 500 AD it was the colour of the Empress, because blue pigments were so expensive to make, it represented royalty. But earliest traditions say that Mary represents Israel, its hopes and dreams.  She is often seen as the “new” Ark of the Covenant.  In Numbers, the Lord’s command to Moses is to put a blue cord on the fringe of their garments so they would remember the Lord and be holy, (Numbers 15:37-41) thus Mary is seen in blue.

As a mother, Mary must have been full of hope for the future on the night when Jesus was born. Looking at this tiny, defenceless child now in the world what hopes and dreams were in her heart?  I would venture to think that they were probably pretty much the same as any mother’s hopes, even new mothers today.

But Mary held the hopes and dreams of an entire people. She carries our dreams today.  That’s one of the beautiful parts of Christmas that comes every year.  As we gather around that familiar tableau or look at the Christmas cards, we look at the scene and hear the story once again and we are filled with hope.  Hopes and dreams for the next year, for our children or grandchildren, hopes that the world will somehow sort itself out, dreams that we will all live in peace and harmony.

As you look at the nativity scene, sing the carols, hear the story yet again, what are your hopes and dreams for 2018? Perhaps more importantly, how will you make them a reality?

Joan Grindrod-Helmn

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Minister and Officers
Minister Rev. Joan E. Grindrod Helmn
01665 798290
Church Correspondence and
Synod Representative
Mrs Margaret Gibson
Worship Secretary Miss Hilga Peacock
01665 711 156
Readers Rota Ms Lindy Conway
01665 713 006
Hall Bookings Mrs Soo Brooks
Christian Aid Representatives Max and Maureen Shepherd
07889 118708
Treasurer Mrs Sally Black
01665 711 262  
Organists Dr Geoff Brooks and
Mr Paul Toward
Fabric Convener Minutes at present Miss Jan Archibald
01665 711 304

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Church Family News

The Flowers

I have had phone calls and written messages from those who have received the flowers. This underlines that the flowers not only give pleasure to the congregation but also become a tangible expression of our concern.


It has been a pleasure to welcome visitors in recent weeks. Do look out for them and "have a word", maybe hand them one of Jan's "welcome cards" which are on the table by the visitors' book.

As always, we remember in our thoughts and prayers those who are unable to join us on Sunday mornings.

Margaret Burrell

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Services and Meetings

Most Sundays
Service in Warkworth Church
10.30 a.m.

Please check the "Dates for your Diary" page for more information.

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Flower Rota


3rd Dec 2017 Dr Graham Findlay
10th Dec 2017 Mrs Marjorie Dixon
17th Dec 2017 Christmas Flowers
24th Dec 2017 Christmas Flowers
31st Dec 2017 At St James's, Alnwick
7th Jan 2018 Christmas Flowers
14th Jan 2018 TBC
21st Jan 2018 Mrs Anne Burke
28th Jan 2018 Mrs Beattie Warwick

Do remember that our flowers continue to give pleasure to others after they are taken from the Communion Table. I receive most appreciative messages from those who are enjoying the flowers and appreciate being remembered.

Margaret Burrell
Tel: 01665 711 395

16, The Butts, Warkworth, NE65 0SS

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Shilbottle Transport Rota

Please contact Jan when you need transport

01665 711 304


Dates for your diary
3rd Dec 2017 Revd. Canon Alan Craig 10:30
10th Dec 2017 Revd Joan Grindrod-Helmn M.A., Mdiv. 10:30
17th Dec 2017 Mrs Barbara Allen 10:30
17th Dec 2017 Carol Service at St Lawrence's 18:00
24th Dec 2017 Revd Joan Grindrod-Helmn M.A., Mdiv.


31st Dec 2017 Cluster Service, St James's, Alnwick 10:30
7th Jan 2017 Home Grown 10:30
14th Jan 2017 Revd Joan Grindrod-Helmn M.A., Mdiv
21st Jan 2017 Mr John Cooke 10:30
28th Jan 2017 Join Service at Rothbury
Mr Yates, Lay Moderator URC
4th Feb 2017 Revd. June Barras 10:30


Many of you will recall the letter which Paddy enclosed with your Free Will Offering Envelopes. He felt that many may still have doubts about "Gift Aiding" their Weekly giving so he has produced the following:

To anyone who pays Income Tax
We hear a lot about GIFT AID and some people are nervous about it

Perhaps they remember the covenants in the past where one had to commit yourself to paying a certain sum to charity every year for seven years. The charity could then reclaim tax. People were, not surprisingly, wary of this long term commitment. But all that has gone. In 1990 the Chancellor introduced Gift Aid for larger donations. Ten years later Gift Aid was expanded to cover all donations to charity of whatever size.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED - gift Aid is applied to the individual donation. There is no long term commitment.


The Government have announced an intention to reduce basic rate Income Tax to 20%. (I've used this figure as it's easier to calculate)

You give a donation to a charity of
If you pay tax at the standard rate, then, in order to get £10 in your pocket you will have earned £12.20
i.e. Gross Earnings
Less Tax at 20%
Money in your pocket

If you Gift Aid your £10 donation the charity can reclaim from the Treasury the £2.50 paid in tax.

So for every pound you give the charity gets an extra 25p



All you have to do is fill in a Gift Aid form with your name and address, stating that you are a UK tax payer, you wish the charity to reclaim the tax and you pay in tax at least as much as your total Gift Aid. (Phone Jan Archibald 01665 711304 for form.)

If for any reason you wanted to cancel a Gift Aid declaration you can at any time.

Paddy Conway

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Remember – old folks are worth a fortune – with silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys and gas in their stomachs.

I have become a little older since I saw you last and changes have come into my life. I am quite a frivolous old girl!!! I am seeing five gentlemen each day.

As soon as I wake up, Will Power helps me get out of bed and then I go to see John. Next, it’s time for Mr Quaker who gives me my oats. They leave and Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn’t stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a busy day I am ready for bed with Johnny Walker.

What a life – and oh yes – I am flirting with Al Zymer. The vicar came the other day and said that at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter.  I told him, “Oh I do. No matter where I am, if I am in the kitchen or upstairs or in the basement, I ask myself – ‘Now what am I here after?’”

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Revd Joan Grindrod-Helmn M.A., Mdiv.