I’m often asked what I like about Saltwood, and the answer is easy. Though, of course, the village is a beautiful place to live, what makes it special is the people. The Saltwood community spirit is very special. A few weeks ago it was deeply moving to see so many of you gathered at the Village Green to remember those who have died in the wars
that have blighted our recent history. A few days later I watched groups of villagers walking down Rectory Lane in the mist to gather at the Parish Church to remember Tony Atkinson, a friend and neighbour to so many. Even though Tony’s memorial service had to be organised at very short notice his family came into a packed church. Coming together as a group helps us all. That’s why Christians get together each Sunday to worship. It’s easier to pray, to sing, to worship in a group than by yourself. Gathering to remember, gathering to celebrate, gathering for company; it’s what we humans do. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem groups of shepherds, choirs of angels and even a number of wise men all came to greet the new born King. Two thousand years later we are still gathering to remember that birth. You should be getting a card in the very near future telling you about the Christmas services at the Parish Church; it would be great to see you sometime over the Christmas season. If coming to church isn’t you just now, do think about joining your fellow villagers at one of our many carol-singing events. Carols on the Green at 7pm on 11th December with the Salvation Army Band, along with the choir of Saltwood School is always a great occasion and is followed by mulled wine in the Castle Hotel. If you like something a bit earthier then come along to Brockhill School on 10th December for carols with the animals in the farmyard there. It’s also at 7pm and you may get to stroke a donkey! Finally back to the Castle Hotel where on 20th December at 7pm our church choir will lead us in carol singing in the pub. Singing Christmas carols is good fun, it brings us together, and helps us to celebrate this most wonderful time of year. Over the next few weeks I hope to see as many of you as I can in church/on the Green/in the Farmyard/in the pub/around the village. Wherever I see you, or even if I don’t, may I wish you all the Blessings of this most Holy Season.