Advent – Expectations Great and Small

Hi, on this page I will be sharing, reviewing, and recommending resources for children’s, family, and all-age, church-based work. I love to explore and discover new ideas, and creative ways of supporting this fantastic ministry. It’s such a privilege to serve the church and to help make worship meaningful and fun for children and families. I hope you’ll find my ideas and recommendations helpful. 

Without sounding like the Grinch, as I get older, I sometimes struggle with the thought of Christmas. Decorations have been in the shops since September! I have run out of ideas for gifts, I have run out of ideas to make Christmas dinner more interesting for my family, and I run out of patience when trawling round the shops amongst busy shoppers who frantically push past me in queues. Unlike many who get really excited about Christmas I’m afraid I have small expectations. It’s so easy to get caught up in the pressures of Christmas commercialism rather than the real meaning. This is supposed to be one of the greatest events of the Christian calendar along with Easter!

I was heartened this weekend though – Ish and I joined our school pupils who were carol-singing in the streets of Chichester on Saturday afternoon. They really seemed to cheer everybody up, even in the rain and cold. There is something magical about listening to children singing about Christmas.

We also had our Advent Service yesterday and it was a great privilege for me to read the Gospel at the Cathedral Eucharist. The choir were excellent, and their amazing voices really lifted me. Our preacher Jack gave a brilliant message which focused not only on the first arrival of Jesus on this Earth, but encouraged us to get ready for Christ’s second imminent arrival as the world’s Redeemer. Now that does fill me with Great Expectations.


I love the hymn we sang yesterday O Come, O Come, Immanuel. I have written out the lyrics below and as you read and think about Advent use these words as a prayer. I find this very moving and powerful.


FOLLOW THE STAR: Resources for Advent and Christmas 2022 from The Church of England

GOING FOR GROWTH Resources for Advent

ADVENT PROCESSION CD with the Choir of Chichester Cathedral

ISH’S CHRISTMAS CAROL CELEBRATION at the price of £5 might help you to enjoy traditional carols in a contemporary upbeat Ish-style. Track Listing 1) Oh Come All Ye Faithful 2) The First Nowell 3) Good Christian Men Rejoice 4) Away In A Manger 5) Angels From The Realms Of Glory 6) Once In Royal David’s City 7) Ding Dong Merrily On High 8) See Amid The Winter’s Snow 9) O Little Town Of Bethlehem 10) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 11) Silent Night 12) Hark The Herald Angels Sing.


Start the new year with Ish’s Daily Devotions – this is not an in depth daily study book, it is more of an autobiograpy with a thought, Bible reading and prayer for each day. As you read my stories you will see that I have tried to be totally honest. This is an Ish ‘warts and all’. I have laughed out loud as I have written some stories and almost wept as I have written others but my prayer is that God will use these little anecdotes to encourage and maybe even challenge those who read them.