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Viewpoint from Rev Marilyn Zipfel 30/11/2012

MARILYN ZIPFELRevd Marilyn Zipfel
Lead Chaplain, James Paget University Hospital
As Chaplain at James Paget University Hospital I meet many wonderful people including patients, staff, visitors and relatives. Each has a different connection to the hospital

Christmas is a special time for families. We in the Chaplaincy are very aware that a spell in hospital can disrupt normal family activities so we endeavour to help by having a Christmas tree in the Chapel decorated with ‘named’ stars, by organising Carol Services and by Carol Singing around the wards

On Sunday 2nd December at 3pm in the Chapel we are holding our annual Starlight Service when we remember precious much-loved stillborn children ... and on Saturday 22nd December at 3pm we would like to welcome you all to a Carol Service as we sing some favourite carols
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The need for families and friends to be together at Christmas is strong. I recall as children, my brother and I were both in hospital over Christmas in order to have our tonsils removed. Unfortunately we were patients in different hospitals – both about 10 miles from home but in different directions ... and in those days our parents didn’t have any transport! Nevertheless, they managed to visit both of us on Christmas Day in the different hospitals and spend quality time together
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This year the season of Advent begins on 2nd December. Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas. During Advent we might ‘trim’ our homes, set up Christmas trees and lights, shop until we drop, spend time together and buy gifts for loved ones ... all in order to celebrate the birth of a God-Child over 2000 years ago
Whichever presents you might be given to unwrap this year, I pray that you will find health, happiness and the courage, curiosity and opportunity to call upon the name of Jesus as you spend time with those you love
Thoughts before Christmas
‘Don’t be thinking Christmas yet – 
 we just reached December.’
We, that’s what people tell me,
But why? Don’t they remember                                                                                                 
2 000 years have passed                                                                                                                    
since Jesus came to earth?
So I shall give my whole life long                                                                                             
to celebrate his birth
... Sophie Piper (adapted)
Bertie (Guest) 03/12/2012 10:35
Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us Marilyn. We trust that you will have a blessed time as you visit with patients and minister to their needs during the Christmas and New Year period. Hope yesterdays service in memory of still-borns went well. That's a really special service and a great idea.