Dear Colleagues,

With our awareness of the evils of life comes sometimes  a sort of blindness to the good that underlies those evils. In the Garden of Eden narrative we perceive great darkness in the human disobedience to a beneficent Creator and the weak human acceptance of deception that led to the Fall of humanity and expulsion from the Garden. Similarly, most if not all of us perceive great demonic darkness in the human propensity to be consumed in thought and habit by what are commonly (and perhaps ominously) called our "devices" - iphones, iPads, androids etc etc. Through these, even children are provided with choices  that  parents would never have placed before them, and humanity  is effectively "expelled" from the Garden of Innocence and the great and once-unconnected outdoors.

Nevertheless, along with the blurred memories of the Garden still active in our psyche is the knowledge that in the divine mind "connectedness" is intended for our good rather than our ill, and just as the newborn baby and his or her mother find sustenance in their connectedness, as indeed do the bride and her husband, so that connectedness that the "devices" and their underlying technology provide for us is also intended for good, as indeed is often shown, rather than for the evil for which our fallenness often employs it.

Having got though that I am now ready to tell you that I have (with my son Peter and his friend's help) got a personal website. 

There are a number of major uses to which it will be put, but one of them will be for the purpose of communicating to you and to the wider world about St. Mary's Anglican Church. My weekly letter to you may often therefore break off at about this point and refer you to a link on the website. I am assuming all of you have either a smartphone or a computer (or both), so that hopefully this should not be problematic to any of you. (And by the way I still have the files for the St. Alban's and St. Mary's taken-down site, which can also in time be put up on this site for history's sake).

The Collect for this Sunday, the 2nd Sunday in Advent, is as follows:

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is the first Sunday of the month of December and as is customary we shall use the Litany and the 1662 BCP Order for Holy Communion. Peter Westin has kindly agreed to give the address. He has also undertaken to print out the short special Advent Wreath observations, for which I am very thankful to him, along with providing the wreath and candles.

The service of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday the 6th December will be held in the National Trust Clubhouse, Dart Family Park, S. Church Street on the Second Sunday in Advent beginning at *10 a.m.* There will also be on Sunday the service of Evening Prayer, including a Zoom linkage, beginning at 6 p.m.

I gather that our rent for the use of the Clubhouse is covered up to the first Sunday of January. 

May you be guided and upheld in the goodness of the Lord in your contemplation of the Advent themes and in all matters.

With blessings in Him,

Bishop Nicholas