The Ampleforth Benefice

Advent 2 – Sunday 8th December 2019
10.30 am Benefice Eucharist at St Hilda
6.00 pm Advent Service of Light at St Oswald, Oswaldkirk
7.00 pm Youth Church at Amp. Village Hall

Prayers of Thanksgiving: We give thanks to God for the many charities that work to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in society, especially in the winter months.

For those who are ill, confined to home and in need: from Ampleforth: Jean Thompson
from Gilling: Rita Sutcliffe, David Sutcliffe, Margaret Wilson  
from Oswaldkirk: Gareth Thomas, Philippa Mackenzie-Smith, Rosemary Greenfield and Sarah Lee
from Stonegrave: Anne Fryers, Martyn Boothroyd

For the recently departed: Freddie Thompson (3yrs) died on Tuesday. May the Lord welcome him into paradise and comfort his family in their grief.

For those whose anniversaries are remembered at this time:

from Ampleforth: Muriel Higgins, Mary Smee, Richard Passman, John Westaway, Lorna Humphrey, Jack Passman, Ken Wood, Kieran Corcoran
from Gilling: Eleanor Hicks
from Oswaldkirk: Amy Skilbeck, Arthur Horner, Winifred Jones
from Stonegrave: Dorothy Tomlinson, David Jones, Patrick Youdan

Prayer during the week: In the season of Advent, God invites us to reflect more deeply on our lives and how we are living each day in his light. It can be a time to notice certain distractions and be taken on a ‘journey’, on which Christ seeks to move us somewhere else in our hearts – nearer to him. In our Gospel passage from Matthew, we hear the testimony of John the Baptist, that one greater than he is coming with a baptism of Spirit and fire. We can think especially of cleansing and purification and how God’s presence ultimately wills us to grow in our delight of him. Let us this week, each day in prayer, ask God to show us what might need to change, so that he can bless us with his goodness.

Regular services for the coming week:

Monday 9th December at 9 am: Morning Prayer at Holy Cross, Gilling
Wednesday 11th December at 9.15 am: Morning Prayer at St Oswald, Oswaldkirk;
Thursday 12th December at 9.30 am: Eucharist at St Hilda’s, Ampleforth
Friday 13th December at 9.00 am BCP Mattins

Benefice Notices

Benefice Website
Facebook Page: AmpleforthChurchGroup

Throughout the Deanery this week, we pray for:
St Peter & St Paul, Pickering

Jim and Lesley Rose at St Hilda’s, Ampleforth are purchasing toys as birthday and Christmas presents for Stefan, a child they support through the Children in Distress charity. If you would like to contribute towards this cost, please contact Jim or Lesley on 01439 788700.

Weekly Advent Reflections: includes a Bible passage and short reflection for each week. Please see:

Additional Activities in the Season of Advent for the Benefice:

Tuesday 17th December 7-8 pm Art in Advent – picture lectio. Both sessions take place at Our Lady and St Benedict’s Parish Hall in Ampleforth. These events are organised by the Vicar and Fr Bede.

Carol Services:
Ampleforth: Wednesday 11th December, 7 pm Our Lady and St Benedict’s Church
Stonegrave: Sunday 15th December, 4 pm, Stonegrave Minster
Gilling: Thursday 19th December, 7pm, Holy Cross Church
Oswaldkirk: Christmas Eve, 6 pm, St Oswald’s Church.

15th December 2019 Advent 3
9.15 am Morning Prayer at St Oswald, Oswaldkirk
9.15 am Eucharist at Holy Cross, Gilling
11.00 am Eucharist at St Hilda, Ampleforth
4.00 pm Stonegrave Carol Service, Stonegrave
7.00 pm Youth Church at Ampleforth Village Hall – Christmas Party
To include details of your forthcoming event, please contact Ian Henley by Thursday on 01439 788274 or email

 Contact: Revd Catherine Reid
Vicar of the Ampleforth Benefice
The Vicarage, Ampleforth   tel.01439 788867

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Youth Church

The Vicar has started a Youth Church with a small team in Ampleforth. Youth Church runs on Sunday evenings at 7 pm during term-time and looks to engage young people 10 year + from Ampleforth and the surrounding villages. Please pray for this new initiative in the benefice and our work with young people and their families.

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Vicar’s December Letter

Dear Friends,

Jaded by Christmas already? Feel you’ve heard the same story so many times? Already exhausted by the unending Christmas ads of gifts and food, that, of course you MUST buy?….And we didn’t even pause at Advent, if we’ve managed to hold on to Advent anyway – and it’s only the beginning of December. Some have even put up trees in the middle of November. It’s no wonder the enthusiasm has pretty much passed by mid-December, following the countless Christmas parties, dinners, and constant commercialism wherever you turn. In the face of all this, I would still say there’s something important you’ve missed, and that the Christmas story, rather than being something you’ve heard several times, is, in fact, a window to see things very differently, and is a potential source of new wonder and meaning.

During Advent – the first four weeks of December, we hear bible readings in church that tell us of the prophets and God’s people all those years ago who were waiting for the light to come into the world, changing it for ever. At Midnight Mass and on Christmas Day, we look back to the very first Christmas and celebrate that the light has come in Jesus, the Christ-child, and we look ahead to the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to be with us again. So, Christmas is a serious celebration and full of extraordinary significance for all of us. Connecting to the Christmas story can be a great lens to consider our own lives, where there is already light and hope, and areas where God’s light is yet to come. Making space to connect afresh to the birth of Jesus, and the journey of God’s people in recognising who he is, can open a dimension in us, bringing added richness. There is so much to take part in – the joy and wonder of God becoming one of us, and the knowledge we are all included. So, if you’re lacking enthusiasm for the present season, I wonder if re-visiting the Christmas story afresh, with the expectation of joy and wonder, might turn your thoughts and feelings around.

As the prophet Isaiah says,

For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Blessings for a Holy Advent and a Joyful Christmas – when it comes,

Revd Catherine
Vicar of Ampleforth with Oswaldkirk, Gilling East and Stonegrave


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