Festivals

Click here to go to the Main Menu.
Click on words in bold red on any page to open a new page.


Note that we are very grateful to be able to use on this page the bold red website links to
Woodlands Junior School, Tonbridge, Kent which is a superb site packed with information about these festivals & many others!




2015
Epiphany 6th January
Ash Wednesday: beginning of Lent February 18th
Mothering Sunday March 15th
Palm Sunday March 29th
Maundy Thursday April 2nd
Good Friday April 3rd
Easter Sunday April 5th
Ascension Day May 14th
Pentecost May 24th
Harvest Festival October TBA
All Saints' Day November 1st
All Souls' Day November 2nd
Remembrance Sunday November 8th
St Andrew's Day November 30th
48th Church Anniversary weekend
First Day of Advent November 29th
Christmas Day December 25th
Covenant Sunday TBA

For up to date information about services during the year, go to the 'What's On' page, nearer the time, listed in the menu at the top of this page.



Advent and Christmas is when we look forward to, and then celebrate the arrival of, the wonderful gift of God's love to us in and through Jesus: God "in human terms". Epiphany is celebrated on 6th January. See more information below.

View our Advent & Christmas picture gallery.

ADVENT

The word Advent means "coming towards" or "approaching". The Christian season of Advent begins 4 Sundays before Christmas (this year on 30th November) as we prepare for God coming to us in Jesus. So Advent is a time of self-examination and prayerful listening to God.

But Advent is also a time of looking forward to Jesus being gloriously revealed and recognised as our Lord. Then, Christians believe, all people will live God's Way of justice, peace, love and care for others - as God showed us in Jesus.

Advent candles and Advent calendars help keep us focused. Each day we may burn down a section of an Advent candle, or open the next window in our Advent calendar, behind which may be a picture or a Bible verse about the coming of Jesus.



CHRISTMAS

The word Christmas means "the festival of Christ", and the word "Christ" means "the anointed one" ie. the one specially chosen and commissioned by God. So Christmas is the time when Christians celebrate the coming into the world of the Christ. In other words, we celebrate the birth of the one through whom, as his name, Jesus, says: "God saves" (Matthew 1.21; Luke 1.31).

We speak of Jesus as Son of God, ie. the one who perfectly shows us what our heavenly Father is like. Because Jesus so perfectly does God's will and lives God's Way, we speak of him as the embodiment of God: "the Word (of God) made flesh", or "the Word incarnate" (John 1.14)

In Jesus, Christians believe, God our heavenly Father gives himself in a costly, sacrificial way to the world he has created. So Christmas is a time of giving: sharing with others God's love and self-giving to us. In many ways Christmas has become commercialised, but Christians make it a time for giving to those in need.



EPIPHANY

The majority of Christians in the west celebrate Christmas Day on 25 December. The majority of Christians in the east celebrate on 6 January. For most western Christians 6 January is the feast of Epiphany ie. "shining upon". We speak of Jesus as the "Light of the World". We believe his life and teaching shed light on our sinfulness and also shines light on the way God wants us to live. It is why early Christians began celebrating his birth when this part of the world is at its darkest. It is also why we celebrate with lights and candles.

Epiphany is when we celebrate the journey of the Wise Men from lands to the east to find the baby Jesus (Matthew 2.1) The Bible does not say how many Wise Men there were, nor that they were kings: nor does it give them names - these things got added in legends. Epiphany is celebrated as the day when Jesus shines not just as Saviour of his own Jewish people but shines as Saviour on all people.

There are twelve days from 25 December to 6 January. Epiphany therefore comes as the climax of the twelve days of Christmas.



COVENANT SUNDAY

On the first Sunday in the new calendar year, Methodists renew our commitment to following Jesus in response to God's love for us, in our annual Covenant Service.

LENT
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter. It is a time of meditation & preparation for Easter, recalling the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry.

EASTER

The most important time of the Christian year is Easter, or Holy Week, when we celebrate Jesus' death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter Day). Jesus is the one in whom God's loving, creative and life-giving power is made clear to us.

ASCENSION DAY

On Ascension Day we mark the last appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his resurrection at Easter.


PENTECOST

At Pentecost (Whitsunday) we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus.

HARVEST FESTIVAL

At the morning Harvest Festival service for all ages, we give thanks to God for creation, and especially for the food and water which sustains life. We commit ourselves to care for the earth. We remember those who have grown the food we enjoy. We bring gifts of food (fresh and tinned/packeted) to share with elderly and housebound people known to us, & with organisations such as 'Slough Foodbank'; 'Slough Homeless Our Concern'; Slough Refugee Support; or others as chosen each year.


ALL SAINTS' DAY

All Saints' Day was designated in 835AD to honour all the saints. The day used to be known as All Hallows Day, as Hallow used to mean saint, and it would start on the eve of All Hallows Day, now commonly known as Hallowe'en.


ALL SOULS' DAY

On All Souls' Day the church remembers those who have died, not just the great & the good but the ordinary person in the pew & in the street.

ST ANDREW'S DAY

St. Andrew was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He was a fisherman by trade, who lived in Galilee and was Christ's first disciple. John 1:41 tells us: 'The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, Jesus, the Christ).' St Andrew's Church was named after this disciple who wished to tell others about Jesus.



Note that we are very grateful to be able to use the above website links to
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk which is a superb site packed with information about these festivals & many others!




Click here to go to the Main Menu.
Click on words in bold red on any page to open a new page.