Counting down the days to Christmas

THE congregation of Lakeside Fellowship have installed an Advent wreath outside their place of worship, the Dianthus Building in Wishbone Way, Goldsworth Park, to acknowledge the importance of this time of year.

SHINING LIGHT – The Rev Sean Larkin with the Advent wreath installed by the Lakeside Fellowship

The wreath comprises five candles, symbolising the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the run-up to Christmas Day. One candle is lit each week, with the final candle being lit on Christmas Day.

This year it also recognises the difficulties faced by communities and worshippers of all faiths during the coronavirus pandemic.

There is also a story behind the wreath itself: early in the 19th century, a priest, fed up with being pestered by children asking when Christmas would arrive, had the idea of lighting a candle each week on the approach to the big day, when he would light the fifth candle, placed in the middle.

The Reverend Sean Larkin, a Goldworth Park resident, lit the first candle on 29 November, with many interested observers stopping on the path by the lake as the brief ceremony was conducted.

The remaining candles will be lit at 10.30am each Sunday, with tea, coffee and hot chocolate provided for onlookers this Sunday (13 December).

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