"You will have heard it said that there is so much busy-ness at Christmas that we lose the heart of it. Buying, shopping, wrapping, and choosing... It’s very easy to find ourselves disconnected from the very story which should have meaning to us: the birth of Jesus."
Media broadcast 'Christmas' carols, but so many of them are merely catchy tunes with empty words. Films with 'Christmas' in the title, that are all about a mythical man in a red suit, nothing to do with St. Nicholas and even less to do with the Nativity.
In childhood years, a favourite part of December was to walk 'up street' to Castle Gate to see the Manger and listen to the old carols. The background scene changed from twinkling stars to the Star of Bethlehem. Figurines amidst the strewn hay depicted the nativity. How fortunate to have such a precious scene to view and listen to.
Times have changed and not for the better. Now I read the on-line news instead of visiting the scene. I no longer want to go because of the various acts of gratuitous vandalism that have occurred over the intervening years.
CLITHEROE'S Mayor says there might not be a Nativity crib scene at the Castle gates next year due to persistent theft of its figures. In the early hours of Boxing Day, around 3-45 a.m., five figures including baby Jesus, Mary, an angel and shepherd, were taken from the crib.
CCTV cameras picked up images of two people in their 30s or 40s taking the figures. They left the castle grounds by the Eshton Terrace gate in the direction of Mitchell Street carrying the figures. One wing of the angel had broken off and is now in the hands of the police.
"A MODEL of the baby Jesus has been found on the roof of a Clitheroe church.
The unusual find was made while St Mary Magdalene’s gutters were being cleared. The nativity piece, which is around a foot in length, disappeared from the town’s crib three years ago."
Sadly, Clitheroe's nativity scene is not alone in receiving the unwanted attentions of vandals.
To end on a happier note - I used to really enjoy Christmas Eve as I walked across town to St. James for the yearly midnight services.
Another joyful memory floats to the surface...walking to St. Matthews in a village in the High Peak to take part in the Carol Service.