The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville

Advent begins this year on 2nd December. Here are a few suggestions for Advent and Christmas reading.

Companions on the Bethlehem Road by Rachel Boulding. (Daily readings and reflections for the Advent journey).

These daily Bible readings (drawn from the lectionary) and reflections are based around spiritual insights planned from some of the best-loved poets of the past - T S Elliot, George Herbert, Tennyson and Auden, among others. While they come from different ages and backgrounds, they wrestled with the same questions that we do, about God, love, hope and suffering. This book is not a literary study of their work, but a quest to see what they can tell us about life and faith today. Their poems are quoted in short sections, with suggestions about what they might mean for us now.

Ref 8742 (Bible Reading Fellowship). 6.99.

Come Emanuel by Ann Lewin.

Advent speaks of our dual identity as people of this world and as God’s people. ‘Come Emanuel’ explores how we can hold this in creative tension and learn to relate our prayerfulness to everyday life. Ann opens up the depths of some very ancient prayers - the Advent antiphons - and discovers what they can teach us.

Commercially, Christmas may be over by the 26th yet for Christians it is a profound beginning that leads paradoxically into death and suffering - because on the days immediately following, the Church commemorates Stephen, the first martyr, and the Massacre of the Innocents. The baby in the manger will bring healing and forgiveness, but only via the road to the cross.

Ref 8744 (Canterbury Press). 8.99

Approaching Christmas by Jane Williams.

Explore the true meaning of the festive season through a combination of reflections, quotations and full colour fine art reproductions of classic Christmas-themed paintings.

Chapters focus on objects and activities associated with Christmas - such as making lists, decorations, gifts, Christmas trees, music, food and family - as well as special days such as Christmas Eve and Epiphany. In each section, Williams brings together personal experience, Christmas traditions, spiritual reflection and quotations from scripture and other writings through the ages, making this an imaginative and stimulating exploration of the riches of this season.

Ref 8779 (Lion). 8.99

On the Road to Bethlehem Finger-Trail (age 3 to 5).

This jolly, interactive board book features indented footprints and trails on every page for children to follow with their fingers as they read the Nativity story. There are lots of footprints, donkey prints, shepherd prints and camel prints for children to follow.

Ref 8773 (Lion). 4.49

Christmas Activity Fun (age 5 to 7)

A fun bumper activity book packed with puzzles, pictures, dot to dots, hidden objects and your favourite bible stories that will keep even the most inquisitive young minds busy!

Ref 8770 (Candle) 1.99

Suggestions taken from ‘A Great Read’ October 2012 highlights. View full selection at www.agreatread.co.uk (over 50,000 titles available). Telephone 08453 679 676 (local rate).

Wishing you all a prayerful Advent and Holy Christmas.

Lynn Winter

Christmas Edition 2012

Book Corner