This is the quiet before the joy of new birth and before Fr. Michael our parish priest unfortunately fell on the ice and has just returned home from hospital with fractured arm in a plaster. Tonight's midnight Mass may have to be a Communion from the reserved sacrament but I hope not. I must say it was difficult to get to our outlying daughter church of St. Mary's Penterry(of Cistercian foundation from Tintern Abbey just down the hill). There is no electricity to the church and mo metalled road to it either which adds to the charm (in summer!)The ice has been far worse than expected freezing and re-freezing the snow. However, I managed to take the Carol service as planned having a lift from Bob in his four wheel drive. Penny our lay reader stepped in to take the Carol service at Devauden for Michael (we are four parishes with five churches). So off to the midnight at St. Arvans now home by 1am and up to de-ice the car and hope it gets me away by 8.30 in the morning for the 9am at Devauden and then back down to take the 10am family communion from the reserved sacrament as planned but Michael's 10.30 at St. Deiniols won't be on. Not as a Communion anyway and they won't be happy but I can't be in two places at the same time. When the diocese reduces the stipendiary clergy as it plans to the rural parishes although faithful are going to be ditched good and proper. Anyway back to joyful mode and to welcome God made man and pray that He will provide.