A Happy New Year

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - CHRISTMAS MESSAGES -

alien­ation that God en­tered into as a baby liv­ing with a poor, refugee fam­ily. But into that sit­u­a­tion, he brought peace, hope and heal­ing.

And into our sit­u­a­tions, what­ever they might be and what­ever the over­rid­ing emo­tion we will wake to on De­cem­ber 25, God con­tin­ues to bring peace, hope and heal­ing.

One of my favourite Christ­mas tra­di­tions has al­ways been gath­er­ing around the TV for ‘A Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol’.

I now have the joy of shar­ing this won­der­ful retelling of the clas­sic Dick­ens novel with my own chil­dren. My favourite quote is from Bob Cratchit.

Bob has come home from church on Christ­mas Day with his dis­abled son Tiny Tim, and says of Tim’s mo­tives in go­ing … “He [Tiny Tim] hoped the peo­ple saw him in the church, be­cause he was a crip­ple, and it might be pleas­ant to them to re­mem­ber upon Christ­mas Day, who made lame beg­gars walk and blind men see”.

Christ­mas will come and go. Your dec­o­ra­tions will go back in the loft and fam­i­lies will dis­perse to other coun­ties and coun­tries. Through all of this I en­cour­age you to try and do one thing.

Re­mem­ber this Christ­mas day the man at the cen­tre of it all.

I am not de­luded enough to be­lieve all peo­ple love Christ­mas like I do. Some will strug­gle with mem­o­ries of loved ones lost, some fight with debt, de­pres­sion and lone­li­ness.

What­ever Christ­mas brings for you I hope you know, that at the mid­dle of it all stands a man who can give you hope.

I’d love you to join us one Sun­day this De­cem­ber, or on Christ­mas Day at the Bap­tist church, to find out a bit more about Je­sus and how much he loves you. Or go along to one of the other bril­liant churches for a christ­in­gle, carol or crib ser­vice. I don’t re­ally care how you do it, just do it!

To bor­row from Dick­ens one more time, I be­lieve Je­sus stands be­fore ev­ery one of us this Christ­mas, and in­vites us to ‘Come in, and know me bet­ter man!’ more new mem­bers, we’ve held a di­verse range of events, all of which have been well at­tended and en­joyed.

If that sounds fa­mil­iar it is be­cause the so­ci­ety con­tin­ues to thrive; and it be­comes dif­fi­cult to find new words to de­scribe a thriv­ing so­ci­ety!

A pleas­ant and in­for­ma­tive walk around the South Bank; yet another suc­cess­ful golf day, five days based in Swansea dur­ing which we saw barely a drop of rain (!), the won­der­ful sound of the massed choirs at the Al­bert Hall and that was just in a few months!

We have a lot to look for­ward to, and I hope our 2015 events prove as suc­cess­ful and popular as those of 2014 – not for­get­ting that we have one of our favourite events of the year – the Christ­mas Drinks party – still to come!

Nadolig LLawen a Bl­wyd­dyn Newydd Dda.

2014 was a year when many peo­ple re­mem­bered fam­ily mem­bers or the peo­ple in our towns and vil­lages who were caught up in the First World War.

I think it is a great trib­ute to this coun­try that we have not for­got­ten the events of a cen­tury ago and that many peo­ple have taken to heart the motto, Lest We For­get.

Each gen­er­a­tion is teach­ing the next about the lessons we learned in the course of that mon­u­men­tal con­flict.

Any­one who wit­nessed the amaz­ing in­stal­la­tion of the ce­ramic pop­pies at the Tower of London will carry that mes­sage with them.

We should not for­get, ei­ther, that in our towns and vil­lages to­day there are many acts of hu­man­ity and in­spir­ing sto­ries of peo­ple who take care of the wel­fare not only of their fam­i­lies, friends, or neigh­bours, but of our com­mu­nity as a whole. I learn about the out­stand­ing things that my con­stituents do to help oth­ers, ev­ery week and ev­ery day of the year.

Christ­mas is a time to thank all of them: the peo­ple who look after oth­ers with great ded­i­ca­tion, the or­gan­i­sa­tions which plan and pro­vide the ser­vices we need, the vol­un­tary groups who help oth­ers, and ev­ery­one who takes the time and trou­ble to help out when another per­son needs it.

Of course Christ­mas and the new year is a time when we would all like to feel happy and safe, so I can­not for­get those whose lives have been turned up­side down by the im­pli­ca­tions of HS2, for whom at the mo­ment home is not that safe haven it once was.

I hope that 2015 will bring peace, health, hap­pi­ness and pros­per­ity to all my con­stituents in the Che­sham and Amer­sham con­stituency.

I am pleased to have this op­por­tu­nity to send sea­son’s greet­ings to all your read­ers.

Lit­tle Chal­font Parish Coun­cil has seen another very full year, cul­mi­nat­ing with the in­stal­la­tion of our war memo­rial, pur­chased partly with gen­er­ous do­na­tions from lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als. Our first Re­mem­brance Sun­day pa­rade ser­vice at the memo­rial was at­tended by about 350 peo­ple and will now be­come a reg­u­lar event in the lo­cal di­ary.

The pro­posed com­mu­nity cen­tre con­sul­ta­tion has re­sulted in a great deal of very use­ful feed­back and we hope to soon have a re­vised de­sign which should re­flect many of the sug­ges­tions re­ceived.

Look­ing for­ward, we ex­pect soon to make im­prove­ments to the area out­side Nightin­gales Cor­ner, partly funded by the county coun­cil’s Lo­cal Area Fo­rum.

Later in the year, sub­ject to sat­is­fac­tory com­ple­tion of an agree­ment, the parish coun­cil will take over some of the work presently un­der­taken by the county coun­cil. This in­cludes cut­ting the grass verges as well as some foot­path clear­ance work.

Parish coun­cil elec­tions will be held in May and this is an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple who would like to help carry on the great va­ri­ety of work in which the coun­cil is in­volved, to put their names for­ward.

Christ­mas is an ex­cit­ing time in the High Street cal­en­dar, with all the shops mov­ing into fes­tive mode.

This year has been one of op­ti­mism, and there is def­i­nitely a feel­ing that things have turned the cor­ner and there is a more pos­i­tive at­mos­phere.

The cul­vert works were a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially to busi­nesses in and around Mar­ket Square. Now we have a lovely space that the spe­cial­ist mar­kets and events can use, and we can say goodbye to those hor­ri­ble orange bar­ri­ers.

We have sev­eral new busi­nesses that have im­proved the bal­ance and we saw the open­ing of Lit­tle Or­chard Deli, Jas­mine Thai Restau­rant, Green Val­ley Gro­ceries, The Raz­zle Daz­zle Party Shop and Art Works pop-up shop.

The Christ­mas in Che­sham evening filled the High Street with thou­sands of vis­i­tors, who were able to en­joy the hos­pi­tal­ity of many of the shops, and stalls that lined the street.

This year is even more spe­cial as Fa­ther Christ­mas showed off his new sledge while meet­ing many chil­dren in his new grotto at The Stay and Play cafe.

We have a very strong com­mu­nity spirit in Che­sham, and ev­ery day this can be seen on the high street. It’s a great place to shop, a great place to meet friends and a great place to eat and drink. On be­half of all the town cen­tre traders, Bet­ter Che­sham would like to thank all our cus­tomers who come to shop and use lo­cal ser­vices.

Once the Christ­mas and new year fes­tiv­i­ties are over it is time to look for­ward to another ex­cit­ing year.

Amer­sham Town Coun­cil’s con­sul­ta­tion on the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment of Hervines Park is top of the list and we look for­ward to hear­ing all our res­i­dents’ views and shar­ing ideas.

We can also look for­ward to a re­fur­bished tod­dlers’ play­ground on King George V field and a splen­did Amer­sham Car­ni­val in­volv­ing all the com­mu­nity.

But most of all Amer­sham Town Coun­cil and your coun­cil­lors will be work­ing hard to con­tinue to make Amer­sham a great place to live and visit, with its parks, play­grounds, sports fa­cil­i­ties and build­ings and rooms to hire.

There is also the en­joy­able task of mak­ing Amer­sham bloom – all the year round – and hope­fully walk­ing away with another gold award at the an­nual RHS re­gional award cer­e­mony.

Keen gar­den­ers – and po­ten­tial gar­den­ers – are very wel­come to join this hard-work­ing group of peo­ple. Do get in touch on the num­bers be­low if you are in­ter­ested.

To keep up to date with all the town coun­cil’s projects and events go to www.amer­sham-tc.gov.uk or find Amer­sham Town Coun­cil on Face­book.

I have been priv­i­leged as mayor to meet and visit so many res­i­dents, schools, busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties over the last eight months. Thank you to those who in­vited me. I do hope that if you too would like me to come to your meet­ing or event you will let Amer­sham Town Coun­cil know by tele­phon­ing 01494 434 000 or email­ing ad­min@ amer­sham-tc.gov.uk.

See www.get­bucks.co.uk for more Christ­mas mes­sages.

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