West Craven Baptist Fellowship

Our vision: - To reveal God's heart at the heart of the community.

We are a group of three churches working together as one from our centres in Barnoldswick, Earby and Salterforth. 

Barnoldswick BB18 5NZ

Earby BB18 6QS

Salterforth BB185TU

Welcome to the website for the West Craven Fellowship.  For us church is not just about Sunday, but flows out into the whole of life.  We aim to live out our faith in our homes, schools, work places - wherever we are.  Through the week we also offer a kaleidoscope of activities to bring people together and build community, such as coffee mornings, parent and toddler groups, home groups, Tuesday Club for children, social events and so on. See our 'Whats On' page

The Perfect Gift

Christmas shopping! Why do we do it? We make our lists and scour the shelves (or the internet) for that perfect gift for Aunty Mary or Cousin George; things we think are just right but will the recipients be so enamoured? Then there’s the wrapping, the delivery, the cost – if we’re not careful it all becomes a chore rather than a pleasure.

 So why do we give gifts at Christmas? It is actually a relic of a pagan custom, part of the Winter solstice celebrated in ancient Rome during Saturnalia. As Christianity spread across Roman lands, the custom of gift giving continued. Around the year 336 AD the date of December 25th appears to have become established as the day of Jesus’ birth, and the tradition of gift giving was reinterpreted and tied to the story of the three magi bringing gifts to baby Jesus. Together with our own Santa Claus based on the historical figure of St. Nicholas, a fourth century Greek bishop and gift giver, giving presents slowly became a part of Christmas celebrations. For many centuries gift giving took place around December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, or in early January after New Year’s Eve, and this is still the tradition in many European countries. However, there was a move to Christmas Eve in the Victorian period, influenced by writers like Charles Dickens in his ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the poem ‘The Night before Christmas’ attributed to the American poet Clement Clarke Moore.

Whether we go overboard with our Christmas gifts, give simply, give to charities or even give ‘Gifts for Life’, nothing surpasses God’s gift to us - His gift of Jesus, in the form of a baby who was born with one purpose, to be the Saviour of the world. God’s gift was pure and sacrificial love, as the poet Christina Rossetti reminds us:

  

Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine; Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.  Worship we the Godhead, Love Incarnate, Love Divine, Worship we our Jesus, But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token, Love be yours and love be mine, Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign

 

So as we open our presents this Christmas morning and see the pleasure of others as they open theirs let’s remember with gratitude God’s gift to us – The Perfect Gift                                                                         

Christmas blessings to you all.

Helen

 Our links with others: -