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BETCHWORTH’S THIRD ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL 30TH NOVEMBER – 1ST DECEMBER 2019
Another wonderful weekend of creativity, happiness and community spirit took place in St Michael’s on the weekend of Advent Sunday. 21 local organisations provided a tree, the rule being as usual ‘make it out of anything but a tree’. The ideas behind them were full of inspiration, and ranged from thoughtful to wacky! At the centre stands our latest knitted Christmas tree, created by a community of knitters from cot blankets and comfort squares for premature babies.. Pam Armitage describes this year’s theme: ” The blankets are for premature babies in three neonatal units [two local, at East Surrey and Epsom Hospitals, and one in Manchester where there is a growing number of refugee families]. Each blanket is teamed with two small ‘comfort’ squares. The mother keeps the squares close to her skin for a while, then one square is placed in the incubator with the premature baby and the other the mother keeps close, then the squares are swopped. This way although the mother cannot be in close contact, the baby can get the scent of mum all the time. This apparently is a great comfort to the little ones. The blankets are something very special to take home to remind the family of just how special their little one is.”
On the morning of Advent Sunday, 1st December, we were privileged to welcome the Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, to preside and preach at a Family Parish Communion.
Later on Sunday, at an informal act of worship, the two trees that had gained the most votes were announced:
Adults’ winner: Brockham Bonfire Committee (their first appearance at the festival).
Children’s winner: Brockham Cub Scouts.
Safeguarding Policy – Promoting a Safer Church
On 8th May 2019 the Parochial Church Council adopted the following Safeguarding Policy.
“In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy, our church is committed to:
• promoting a safer environment and culture
• safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church
• responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
• caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
• caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
• responding to those who may pose a present risk to others.