View from the Vicar

Do you have Christmas traditions in your family? Last year all of our Christmas traditions were completely disrupted;many of us were very disappointed that we couldn't see family and friends. My Christmas was particularly painful not because we couldn't see our children, although that was a pain, but rather because I developed a tooth abscess on Christmas Day, that by Boxing Day meant that my face was swollen up and I was at the emergency dentist in Oxford getting antibiotics before taking to bed. At least all the plans to see the family had already been cancelled! 2020 the year that kept giving.

How are you feeling as we approach Christmas this year? All of the disruptions last year did help us to reflect on what was really important and, for many of us, what we missed the most was not the presents or the food but the people. We missed family and friends and want that to be at the heart of this Christmas.

Relationships are so important to us and for Christians the heart of Christmas is the possibility of a relationship with God, through His son Jesus. It's a message that has brought hope to millions of lives. We hope and pray that at the heart of this Christmas you will know the love of friends and family and the blessings of God.

We would love to invite you to join us for one of the services at St. James in December and they are listed below. While we hope many of you will be able to join us we are also aware that some are still isolating from larger groups because of Covid and while we will continue to monitor the situation, locally and nationally, we wouldn't recommend attendance at busier services if you are clinically vulnerable.

If you would like a member of the clergy team to visit you at home please get in touch with the church office at

Grace and peace be with you this Christmas time.

Simon Kirby, Vicar of James the Great, South Leigh and St. Marys' Cogges. (November 2021)