Heaven Knows Newsletter – Issue 8 – Christmas Special

Your Faithful; Fun; Family Church

Heaven Knows Newsletter – Issue 8 – Christmas Special

Please note that this blog is a cut down version of our email and printed version of our newsletter. Please email: admin@aomurchurch.org.uk if you’d like to be added to our mailing list.

Note from the Editor

Ho, Ho, Ho! The sacred month of December is here at last. It’s time to deck the halls, make a snowball and snuggle up in front of an open fire. Although Christmas might be a little different this year, the spirit of Christmas lies in all our hearts. “A merry heart does good like medicine” – Proverbs 17:22

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal

Christian Aid are desperate for support for their Christmas appeal which is for donations to help purchase face shields, gloves and masks for frontline care workers. You can read more about the hard work they are doing and donate by clicking here.

Christmas Memories for the Boyes Family

In this the strangest of years we already find ourselves rapidly approaching Christmas which we all know will be different from any other we have ever known. Thoughts therefore turn to Christmases past and the opportunity through Heaven Knows to share some experiences of those enjoyed by the Family Boyes.

Some of you will know that back in 1987 I introduced our family to skiing, to which the children took an instant like. So much so that when the chance to go away with the Trafford Schools Ski Association, actually at Christmas, they were as keen as mustard to grasp the chance of having guaranteed snow for the festive season.

First up in 1988 was Windischgarsten where both Matthew and Elizabeth greatly improved their skiing whilst Pam and I managed to be left behind on technical ability! Because the

hotel had a heated pool Elizabeth also enjoyed an introduction to another ‘sport’, that of synchronised swimming, as demonstrated by some sixth-form girls from AGGS.

The following year saw us venture to Badgastein which delivered two unforgettable experiences. The first involved me and Matthew whilst out skiing with a group led by our instructor Gerhard. Well at one point Matthew and I both came off a T bar lift and found ourselves at least 100 yards from the piste. We managed to clamber there, with Matthew almost waist deep in snow, put our skis back on and made it back down to the bottom of the run where we met Gerhard. Amazingly his first words were “Have you seen any other members of the group!!“ Fortunately in the next ten minutes or so they all arrived, some with tales of their adventures. Needless to say Gerhard was greatly relieved that he had not actually lost anybody.

Christmas Eve is when Austrians mainly celebrate Christmas and the slopes close at about 2 pm. The local church held Midnight Mass so I went to join in and among other things found myself singing O Come All ye Faithful partly in German (which I have never studied) and partly in Latin (which I have).

The more memorable event however was on Christmas Day when everything was up and running. Buses, Trains, Shops and the local swimming baths, both indoor and outdoor, were open, fed by a natural thermal spring. So on Christmas Day after skiing all day the whole group went swimming outdoors in the evening. Water temperature c 85 degrees Fahrenheit but icicles on the handrails by the steps and snow on the poolside. Further outings included a trip to a real skittle alley but this did not quite compare to the Christmas Day swim.

Written by Chris Boyes

Quick Cranberry Sauce recipe


  • 250g fresh cranberries
  • 75g sugar
  • Grated rind & juice of 1 large orange
  • Pinch ground ginger – optional
  • 150ml water


  • Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil whilst stirring.
  • Gently simmer for about 10 minutes until the berries are tender and have started splitting.
  • Remove from the heat and stir well. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • When cold, the sauce can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. It also freezes well.

Wonderful served with chicken or turkey and any other cold meats.

Submitted by Pam Boyes

It shouldn’t happen to a tradesman – When things go wrong

Doing what I do gives me great satisfaction. There’s nothing better than a happy client and being told how pleased with the job they are. Having said that there have been a few times along the way when things haven’t quite gone to plan.

Story 1

I was working with a small team on the refurbishment of a local restaurant and the owner had passed the project management over to me. He had hired his own electrician and when he arrived on site, we were all surprised at how young he was. The job required all new lighting including wall lights and a new ring main circuit to power all the new sockets in and around the new bar area. ‘Sparky’ as he shall be known, decided to install a new consumer unit (fuse box) and said he would be turning the power off for a few minutes. He wasn’t kidding. There was a loud bang, a big flash, then darkness, and silence. I found Sparky next to the fuse box with a melted pair of pliers in his hand and a dazed look on his face. He had cut a main supply cable when it was live blowing the electrics and bringing the job and the sister restaurant next door to a grinding halt. During one particular day he electrocuted two plasterers, a bricky, a joiner, and a plumber by leaving uncapped live wires everywhere. So when he inevitably lit himself up, he had to concede “What goes around comes around”.

Story 2

One particular ensuite conversion I did taught me never to cry wolf when on a job, as you will get bitten. This ensuite required a considerable amount of new plumbing to be installed and the client had asked if the stop tap could be changed at the same time as it was very stiff. I agreed and informed the plumber upon his arrival. The plumber ran all new pipework, completed the job, and then left. Shortly after it was decided we would prank him, so I phoned him and told him we had a leak and asked him to come back immediately. Within a few minutes he was back and after realising he’d been pranked, his look of concern turned to relief and then a smile. Of course, the promise of “I’ll get you back” was delivered and off he went. Later that afternoon, while cutting out a new opening on the landing for a new bedroom doorway, I accidentally hit and burst an old lead waterpipe buried in the wall. So, whilst a colleague tried unsuccessfully to stem the flow, I made the desperate attempt to turn the water off but couldn’t find the stop tap as the plumber had moved it. I now had to ring the plumber and ask him to come back again. Through fits of laughter at his end of the line, he explained the client had asked him to move the stop tap to a new location and he thought I knew where it was to be sighted. I found the new stop tap, turned off the water and waited for the plumber to come back and do his thing. And upon his arrival, I heard the wolf cries singing in my head.

Written by Chris Garrattley

Tree of Remembrance

To commemorate those who have passed away we asked members of our congregation and community to submit names of their loved ones to our remembrance tree

Knitting at Christmas

Santa’s hat Egg cosy

Cast on 30st using 3¾ mm needles and white wool

Row 1 (RS) Purl.

Row 2 Knit.

Rep. rows 1 & 2 once more.

Change to Red wool

Row 5 Knit.

Row 6 Purl.

Rep. rows 5 & 6 twice more.

Row 11 (K3, K2tog) to end. (24 St.)

Row 12 Purl.

Row13 (K2, K2tog) to end

Row14 Purl.

Rep, rows 5 & 6.

Row17 K1, K2tog) to end. (12 St.)

Row 18 Purl.

Rep. rows 5 & 6 twice more.

Row 23 (K2tog) to end (6 St.)

Row 24 Purl.

Rep. rows 5 & 6 four more times.

Next row (K2 tog) to end (3 St.)

Next row Purl.

Cut wool leaving a long tail and pull through rem. 3 St.

Make small pom-pom in white wool to attach to top of hat.

Submitted by Pat Joyce

Meals for the community

We are supporting a project called Space at the Table. This has been organised by Dave Fraser who some people may remember has led some of our services at Church. Food is delivered by Fareshare and professional chefs cook several meals with the donations. They are then delivered to various Churches in the area. We were able to donate them to people from our Church or to the community, however, we thought suitable. We have just over 30 meals delivered on a Wednesday, June delivers 3 to local people, and Barbara and John take the rest to Sale West Community Centre. They then deliver to some vulnerable people they work with and the rest are given out on a Friday when they have a Fareshare delivery for the local community. The meals are intended to help those in financial difficulties, isolation, or those who may not have much contact with other people at the moment. The meals have been very well received. Initially, the project was supposed to finish in December but people have asked for it to be extended into the new year whilst we are still in these uncertain times. If anyone would like to help with delivering the meals then please get in touch with one of the Elders. If we get enough people we can set up a rota to share it out equally.

Written by Caroline Howarth

Thanks for reading

Compiled and edited by Rebekah Vanden

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