St Lawrence Church Bidborough

St Lawrence Church, Bidborough

Know God, Show His Love, Grow His Church

Southborough Team

800th Anniversary

Vicar's View - December 2018 / January 2019

Bidborough Church

For once, the vicar does not have to scratch his head long and hard in order to think of something to write about here. This month the theme is easy - a gift in fact. “Unto us a child is born”. When I say that, I could be, and indeed am, looking ahead to the Christmas message that will be shared over the next few weeks at many different events and services. But my primary thoughts right now are with the safe and wonderful arrival of our first grandchild - Esther Elizabeth Malone. We had been looking forward to the birth for months, of course, but still I was unprepared for the sheer joy of the appearance of this new life, and for the new light that she has brought into our lives already.

We were able to visit the new little family in Leeds whilst Esther was not yet three days old. Her name had not even been decided upon and announced until we arrived - she had simply been ‘baby girl’ (or in my mind, still ‘Bugsy’ - the name I had given to Georgie’s ‘bump’ for the past nine months). Having taken ‘Auntie Lucy’ with us, Elizabeth and I had to fight hard to get a cuddle with little Esther. When we did, Granny (!) said that it took her back to those earlier times, 30, 28, and 26 years ago - but for me, with my shocking memory, it was like the first time all over again.

In the UK, a baby is born around every 45 seconds. Across the world, four every second. But this little one - this Esther Elizabeth - is, as far as I am concerned, a special gift to Georgie and Matt, and to us as a family. She will change their lives, and ours forever.

Tomorrow I shall start to put together talks and acts of worship that will celebrate and share with others the original ‘Unto us a child is born’ story. Those words were spoken by a prophet some 800 years before the event recorded at the beginning of most of the New Testament gospel accounts - the birth of a child to a young couple. That child - whom they named Jesus - would bring light, not only to his family, but to the world. He would grow up to demonstrate the love of God, through his short adult life and young death on a cross, and to make that love an available reality for each one of the billions of people who would be born in the centuries that followed, including you and me, and baby Esther.

This little girl has already changed our world - only time will tell if she will make a difference to the world itself. Two thousand years of time has already told that the babe in the manger has indeed made a difference to the world, and to the two thousand million of us who call ourselves Christians. He, Jesus, has brought life and light and hope to all those who have welcomed him into their hearts.

Join us as we celebrate the happy arrival - and may the message of Christmas bring light and joy to your life.

Stephen Hills

Previous Views

Daily Prayers

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Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2018.

Rochester News
November 2018

Rochester Link

What's On ?

Take a look at our events calendar.

APCM Docs 2018

Data Protection

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Thursday 4:00-5:00pm in the small village hall.

Crisis Recovery

The Day Centre would be happy to receive donations of second-hand clean clothes and shoes for their guests (particularly men’s clothing). If you can help please get in touch with Alan Richards on 528916.


There is a Traidcraft stall in Church on the first Sunday of every month. Please support this worthwhile project.

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