Sunday in North Birmingham was damp and misty when the High Sherif and his partner drove into Winson Green the city’s remand prison.
It is an offence to take a mobile phone into a prison and the High Sheriff would certainly not want to break the law. It was a shame as the High Sheriff usually captures a picture or recording of his visits across the county and on this occasion it would have been good to show and hear the Choir Volunteers, Prison Staff, Chaplaincy, Inmates and invited guests share a warm carol service. The high Sherif read the 4th reading the Wise Men are led by star to Jesus.
NOW when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
A big thank you top Quaker Chaplin Tricia Bradbury who was core to organising the service and maintained her beaming smile throughout. It was also good to meet Simpon Topman DL and his partner Debbie who has worked in prisons over the years. There were many multifaith chaplains in attendance and visitors from many countries including a massively experienced refugee from the Congo who was welcomed by Birmingham a decade ago.
God grant us the light of Christmas, which is faith;
The warmth of Christmas,
which is purity;
The righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
The belief in Christmas,
which is truth;
The all of Christmas,
which is Christ.