A Happy New Year
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.