The Bishop of St Asaph has released his annual Advent Message featuring three projects in North Wales where people are “being the face of Christ” in their community.
Highlighting the work of the community drop-in at St Francis Church, Sandycroft, Food with Friends in Shotton and Wrexham Foodbank, Bishop Gregory Cameron challenges everyone this Advent to “reflect the love of Christ…by our actions, by our love, by our witness.”
The seven minute film, will be shown in churches across the Diocese of St Asaph on 3 December, Advent Sunday. It opens with a reminder that 2017 has been a year of terrorist attacks and tragedy. Bishop Gregory says: “In many ways this last year has felt at moments as if we’re living in the end times of the world.”
Yet, there have been “signs of hope and of redemption,” he says. Reflecting on the role of the faith communities in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June, Bishop Gregory says that amid the tragedy “…. we saw humanity at its best….as people from all walks of life sought to give comfort or to give hope, and to give reassurance.”
He goes on to say that what happened in June prompted him to view the whole question of Advent in a fresh way. Rather than seeing Advent traditionally, as a time of preparing for Christmas and how Jesus might come to us in our lives, we should consider how we might become Christ for others. In the film, Bishop Gregory says: “What we saw in Grenfell Tower was the churches being the presence of Jesus, the face of Jesus, offering the love and comfort of Christ.”
And it’s this message which he encourages people to take forward in Advent. He asks: “…how we as Christians can be the face of Christ in our communities. How we, by responding to the needs of our communities, can be the active presence and love in action of Christ revealed in the world.”
The Advent Message is available in five formats and will be show, read or broadcast in all 228 churches across the Diocese of St Asaph on Advent Sunday, which is 3 December.
The Diocese of St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, an independent Province within the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches. The diocese is a community of 228 churches covering the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and parts of Gwynedd and Powys. It looks after 51 schools, including one shared faith secondary school.