We are now approaching a very special time in the Church’s liturgical year, Advent. This year Advent begins on Sunday 3 December and continues until Sunday 24 December.

Advent means “coming” in Latin, this is the coming of Jesus into the world, which is the real meaning of Christmas. As Christians begin to prepare for Christmas we pray for hope, peace, joy and love for our world.

In Chapel we started our Advent countdown in Week 3. To mark the countdown to Christmas each week we light a candle on the Advent Wreath. The three purple candles and one pink candle symbolise hope, peace, joy and love. The fifth candle on the Advent Wreath, the white candle, is the Christ candle that is lit on Christmas Day to remind Christians of the light Jesus brings to the world.

Students in Year 3 and 4 have made their own class Advent Wreath using cut outs of their hands. Each week, after Chapel, they add another candle to the wreath.

In Chapel we have also been reflecting on the symbolism behind the Wreath and the meaning of the purple and pink candles.

In Week 4, we lit the peace candle and the students were invited to make origami peace doves that we used to think about how we can be peacemakers.

This term is a very busy term in the Chapel, as we also celebrate St Andrew’s Day on November 30.

Jesus’ prophecy that Andrew would fish for people was fulfilled, for he became a missionary apostle, who created links with those around him, his family, his friends and his community, bringing them to Christ.

Andrew was the brother of St Peter. According to Christian tradition, Andrew went on the share the good news about Jesus around the shores of the Black Sea and throughout Greece and Turkey. He was crucified on a cross form known as the “crux decussata,” an X-shaped cross or “saltire” as shown in the accompanying picture. That saltire is shown on the flag of Scotland. St Andrew is also the patron saint of Russia, Romania and the Ukraine, of fishermen and of singers.

I pray that you have a blessed Advent season and Happy St Andrew’s Day to you!

The Rev’d Rachel Chapman