Many of our schools have Advent services at this time. It is truly amazing to see and hear our young people sharing the story of Christmas in word and song. At one service during the week not only did they sing superbly, read strongly but they also drew words and symbols from the other major world religions on the theme of peace. Children from another choir joined a charity carol service to raise funds for operation Smile and held their own in the company of much older and more experienced singers. At a third service the school principal showered praise on the students for all their charitable initiatives during the build up to Christmas and assured them that when they were sitting down around the Christmas tree opening their presents that others with much less would be blessed by their efforts and that they should have just a little be it of satisfaction from making such a difference. So well done to all our young people and those who support and guide them to use their talents so well and for the good of others.

At a meeting during the week I heard about the experience of the people living in tented accommodation in the former Central Mental Hospital. To say the least it’s not easy for them. So we watch for opportunities this Advent to reach out and offer welcome, charity and friendship. Supporting the Vincent De Paul collection is one sure way of making a difference and we try to stay alert to any way we can help those most in need.