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The Uplands Group of Parishes consists of Guilsborough, Hollowell, Thornby, Cold Ashby, Ravensthorpe, Cottesbrooke, Creaton and Spratton

Message from Reverend Allison Twigg, Associate Priest Uplands Group of Churches

   Christmas is an invitation. At Christmas time, church communities all over the country dress their buildings with festive decorations, and open their doors on cold evenings, to help communities come together to sing carols and to celebrate    Christmas with all manner of services from Donkey and Crib Services to more traditional Midnight Masses. In the villages of the Uplands Group that is exactly what we want to do - welcome you all to our services.

   Christmas also encourages a response. For some this is joyful anticipation and excitement for time with family and friends, shopping and presents, mince pies and mulled wine. For others this time feels unbelievably painful. Gathering a family reminds us of family that we see no more. Visiting distant friends, finding enough money, sending cards and wrapping gifts can turn pleasure into stress, anxiety and another reminder of how happy we should be when in fact we are not.

   Yet Christmas is also a time of hope, of peace, good will and community. God came among us as a vulnerable child, his parents relying on the generosity of others to provide a safe haven for his birth. The reality of the first Christmas for Mary and Joseph would be one of deep anxiety and distress before they found shelter. Jesus started his life with no home and then lived the first three years of his life as a refugee before he

new way of living according to God`s will: A radical way of loving all not just the few, a way of reconciliation, a way of respect, inclusion and love. God identified himself with the sad, the lost the hopeless and the poor. Jesus was declared as God with us and through his death and resurrection he lives within each of us. The Hope for the world is that through our actions each of us can achieve great things and bring healing to the world. Let us dare to believe that we can change the world through the power and strength of God as we work together to make the Christmas season a time of hope for all time.

In church, we may sing the carol ‘O come all ye faithful’, but we really want to welcome not just ‘the faithful’ but all of you, whether you are unsure what you believe or just like singing carols, whether you are full of joy or feeling broken, come, we invite you to come home to church at Christmas.

And may you know God’s blessing upon you and may his peace and goodwill be in your hearts this Christmas that you may face the New Year with renewed hope.

Reverend Allison Twigg

was able to settle. A far cry from the familiar cosy and idyllic nativity scene on our Christmas cards.

   So where was the Hope? The Angel came to Mary and the shepherds to proclaim Christ’s coming for all of us and to usher in a


Church News


This year, Advent Sunday is 2nd December, so the Travelling Crib sets will be blessed at one of our Uplands Services and start on their travels around the Parishes finishing again at our Crib Services at Spratton and Guilsborough on Christmas Eve. If you wish to be part of this and have Mary & Joseph, then please contact:

Pauline Jacobs 01604 743792

      Headstones in Guilsborough Churchyards

   The PCC recently arranged for a safety inspection of all the headstones in the old and new churchyards. Regular inspections are  recommended by the Diocese. The good news is that far fewer were found to have an immediate problem than in the previous inspection, although the prolonged dry weather had caused some instability in some.  There were eight headstones which needed attention and which we have had repaired.  

   We are very grateful to the Parish Council for helping us to maintain the churchyards, and to Mark Hazle in particular. We would like to take this opportunity to respectfully remind those who look after family graves that there are certain rules and regulations which we are required to abide by. Only fresh flowers should be used, with a couple of seasonal exceptions.

A copy of the regulations is on the entrance gate so please check if you are unsure.

Reverend William Gibbs, vicar of Guilsborough for 32 years until 2000 died in October and is buried in

Winwick with Sally Gibbs

Shoe Boxes and Blankets

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Shoe Box & blanket collection this year.

We sent 37 blankets & 119 shoe boxes in support of the Blytheswood Project.

Sue Needham


Local news from the Northamptonshire villages of Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Guilsborough, Hollowell & Teeton and Thornby.

Last updated Friday, December 7, 2018

Copy deadline for next printed edition: Wednesday 2nd January 2019