The Rector’s pages: A TRUE CHRISTMAS STORY.
Robert May was barely five feet in height. He was born in the early part of the nineteen hundreds. Bullied at school, he was ridiculed and humiliated by other children because he was smaller than other boys of the same age. When he left school he became employed as a copywriter, married and had a daughter. Then when his little daughter was two years old, tragedy struck; his wife was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. She became bedridden and remained so until she died. Nearly everything he earned went on medication and doctor’s bills. Money was short and life was hard.
One evening in early December of 1938, his four-year-old daughter climbed onto his knee and asked, “Daddy, why isn’t Mummy like everybody else’s mummy?” It was a simple question, asked with childlike curiosity. But it struck a personal chord with Robert May, he had often posed a similar question, “Why can’t I be tall, like the other kids?”. Groping for something to say to give comfort to his daughter, he began to tell her a story. It was about someone else who was different, ridiculed, humiliated and excluded because of the difference, but he told the story in a humorous way, making it up as he went along. His daughter laughed, giggled and clapped her hands as the misfit finally triumphed at the end. She then made him start all over again from the beginning and every night after that he had to repeat the story before she would go to sleep.
He had no money for fancy presents, so Robert decided that he would put the story into book form; he created illustrations; he converted the story into a poem; this was to be his daughter’s Christmas present. He took the book to work and showed it to a colleague who was very impressed. On Christmas Eve he wrapped the book and placed it under the modest Christmas tree. To say that his daughter was pleased with her present would be an understatement. She loved it!
When Robert returned to work after the Holiday, he was summoned to his head of department who wanted to talk about his poem; the Head of Marketing wondered if Robert would be interested in having his poem published.
The following year, 1939, printed copies of the book were given to every child who visited the department stores of Montgomery Ward and it eventually became an international best seller, making Robert a rich man and he was at last able to provide handsomely for his growing daughter. The story is not quite over.
In 1947, songwriter Johnny Marks used the theme of Robert’s poem for a song. He showed the song to a famous film star of the day, Gene Autry, ‘The Singing Cowboy’. Autry recorded the song and it became a world-wide number one hit. You may just remember it. The first line goes....”Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose.....!”
First Sunday Services - Sunday 6th December
08.45am Dowlish Wake 1662 Communion
10.00am Kingstone CHRISTINGLE
10.30am Shepton Modern sung Communion
11.15am Cudworth Communion
6.00pm Barrington Sung Evensong
CHRISTMAS SERVICES - SEE "Services -" tab above
Buttle Close Common Room - Shepton Beauchamp
We meet at 11.30am on the first Thursday of each month in the Common Room of Buttle Close for a short, gentle service of prayers, hymns, readings and a story. Everyone is very welcome.
Shepton on Tuesdays at 10.30am.
These services are 30 minutes long, simple Communion Services to reflect, pray and give thanks.
EVENSONGS IN WINTER
Please check the times of Evensong at Stocklinch, Dowlish and Kingstone as the service will be held at 4.00pm during the winter months.
WEBSITE FOR OUR VILLAGES & CHURCHES
Our Churches - winsmoor.blogspot.co.uk
Barrington Village barringtonvillage.btck.co.uk
Barrington Pre-school barringtonpreschool.co.uk
Deanery Website crewkernedeanery.blogspot.co.uk
Shepton Beauchamp Village sheptonbeauchamp.org.uk
NEW Shepton Primary School sheptonbeauchamp.somerset.sch.uk
Stocklinch Village stocklinch.org.uk
From the Church Registers
30th October Margaret Norcliffe 82 yrs; funeral and cremation at Yeovil followed by interment of ashes with her late husband at Shepton.
THE WEB MAGAZINE
Every year each parish raises money for the upkeep of the village church, to pay a “membership fee” to the diocese of Bath and Wells and to pay the day to day working expenses of the clergy who run and support our parishes; combined, this makes up quite a sum to find, year after year.
But once again, in 2016 the Web Magazine will make a substantial contribution to the “working expenses” needed, so much so that none of the parishes will need to raise this money….hurray!!
This happy state of affairs exists due to the hard work and effort of the Web Editors who produce such a good quality, community magazine that the advertising space is keenly sort by local businesses. So a VERY BIG THANK YOU TO THE EDITING TEAM.
Clearly it is vital that we are to retain the goodwill and support of advertisers and so getting 'The Web' into houses in the Benefice each month after they are distributed to the parish coordinators (usually between the 27th & 29th) as soon as possible is crucial, and we have a great team of coordinators and distributors who work very hard to achieve this - so a VERY BIG THANK YOU TO THEM TOO!