Today ubu celebrated the Second Day of Christmas with the simple and moving tradition of Christingle. The people we serve came together with staff to decorate aromatic oranges with ribbons and candied fruit, to light candles, and to make a special Christmas wish for themselves and those they love.
The story of Christingle dates back to 18th century Germany, when three poor children brought a handmade gift to Christmas mass. Having no money or worldly possessions, they gave the only thing they had of value, a simple orange decorated with ribbon, candle, and pieces of dried fruit. When the priest saw their humble present, he recognized it instantly as representing the true spirit of Christmas. Christingle candles are the traditional light by which church carols are sung in Germany and Austria. The Hub resounded with two rounds of the classic carol “White Christmas”, followed by trays of German stollen bread, cups of spiced apple cider, and a special Skype chat with Santa’s elves at the North Pole.
It proved a lovely reminder of the Christmas spirit burning in all of us, and a fitting way to highlight the work of our featured charity of the day: The Bridge Centre in Nottingham. The charity runs a welcoming drop-in centre for the whole community, offering friendly support for anyone experiencing difficulties. Hyson Green is one of the 88 most deprived areas in the country - with high unemployment and poverty levels. The members of Boulevard United Reformed Church saw the need in the area around them and the Bridge Centre was the church's response: a bridge between the church and the community. They offer support for families and individuals of all faiths through homework clubs, play groups, employment counselling, and food and furniture donations.
To learn more about the Bridge Centre, please visit their website here: http://www.bridgecentrehysongreen.org.uk