Fitzhead Village

Country Matters from your Benefice Hedgerow Chaplin

Welcome to January 2024!  A Very Happy New Year to one and all.
Saturday 21st at 09:21am takes us into the Winter Solstice meaning ‘Sun stands still’. It varyingly is the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun, longest night, shortest day meaning the gradual waning of daylight hours being reversed, it is midwinter, a time of new beginnings, a time to enhance spiritual awareness.

We could start off the year thinking of all those exciting new ventures, challenges, ideas and things we promised ourselves we would do last year! Now is the time to start to make the plans and really move into action this year and get them done.
Friday 22nd December through to Wednesday 20th March is the Winter season. There is a good starting and finishing point for phase one and to see how you get on. Think of Nature through this period and the plans that are working, unseen beneath our feet. Over Autumn and through this Winter period the bulbs, plants, roots and all those unseen things have been busily working underground, planning and getting ready to burst through above the soil, some in mid-winter and others in Springtime.

Epiphany, on January 6th is when the three Wise Men visited the baby Jesus. This festival celebrates the gift of God to people of all nations. It also reminds us of our journeys and when we can take the time to reflect on our own futures.
The 10th is Plough Monday marking the resumption of agricultural work. The workers would parade through the streets with boxes for donations of money, Mummers plays and singing part of the activities. Wassailing was originally on Twelfth Night after Christmas, the 6th , for the blessing of the apple trees to ensure they bear a good harvest and to drive off evil spirits. There are many wassailing festivals around Somerset on different nights, so keep an eye out for a date near to you, for tis not a night to be missed!

The 25th brings us ‘Burns Night’ where ‘The great chieftain ‘o’ the pudding race’ takes pride of place alongside no doubt a dram or three of the wondrous and varied flavours of Scottish whisky.
The first Full Moon of the year is on 25th January at 12:54 and is called the Wolf Moon and what a time for celebration, a time to embrace change and to expect some high emotional peaks.
The New Moon will be on the 11th January at 11:58. This is a great time for forward thinking, new beginnings and planning.
Whatever celebrations you follow over this period, enjoy them, but stay safe and look after those around you, including your family, friends and not forgetting your neighbours!
Wishing you all A Very Happy and Joyful New Year!

The Spiritual Walk for January will be on the 16th starting at 1000am from St Michaels Church War Memorial. We will take a gentle stroll around the Milverton countryside. It will be 3.5 miles and take around 2.5 hours.

To book a place please email me on stevenwort@hotmail.co.uk or text/phone on 07557 958013

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