As you prepare for Advent read Matthew 24:44 the lectionary reading for the first Sunday of Advent, we ask you to consider the questions below:

"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour".
What do you understand by the phrase "an unexpected hour"?
What personal skills and talents can you use in preparation?

This Advent, we invite you to support your community at this important time of year.

Thursday 1 December

Share your heart
Create a heart-shaped decoration for the St Albans Anna Chaplain to share and send on to an older person in St Albans, hopefully to bring joy and help combat isolation at Christmas time. Please contact Maggie Dodd, St Albans’ Anna Chaplain for heart-patterns and collection [email protected] or 07462 586773.

Friday 2 December

Cold winter’s night
Nobody should have to sleep outside in the winter.
Consider volunteering for the St Albans Winter Beds scheme this Christmas period. For more information, please contact, [email protected].

Saturday 3 December

Donate a gift
Every child should have the right to relax and play freely. Donate and gift a wrapped present up to the value of £5 for a child supported by the St Albans Child Contact Centre. For more details and information, please email [email protected]

Sunday 4 December

A prayer
Take a moment to say a prayer for those seeking justice:
The LORD says: Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
Isaiah 56.1

Monday 5 December

Reach out
Draw someone into your community and build a connection. Contact an elderly or isolated friend, or even a neighbour and suggest making a Christmas decoration together or sharing a cup of tea and a mince pie together.

Tuesday 6 December

St Nicholas’ Day
Today is St Nicholas’ Day, follow his example in caring for those in need and deliver a donation of Christmas food to a food bank, including Vineyard Church and St Albans and District Foodbank. You can also find food collection baskets at your local supermarket.

Wednesday 7 December

Support the homeless
The Big Issue provides its sellers with an independent and pro-active way to earn money – why not stop next time you see a seller and buy a copy.

Thursday 8 December

Share joy through song
Carol singing is a wonderful way to bring the community together. Try and find local carol singing opportunities and spread extra joy this Christmas season.

Friday 9 December

Provide comfort in company
Loneliness and isolation are particularly prevalent this time of year. Reach out where you can and make a special effort to visit or speak to someone who is alone.

Saturday 10 December

Winter pack for the homeless
Centre 33 provides a hot meal for those who need it five days a week. Put together a helpful winter pack (hat/gloves/socks/scarf) for them to share and gift to their clients. For more information email [email protected] 

Sunday 11 December

A prayer
Spare a thought and a prayer for those incarcerated.
Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them;
those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

Hebrews 13.3

Monday 12 December

St Albans’ Lions Senior Citizens’ Dinner
Offer to sign up a senior citizen to attend the St Albans’ Lions Senior Citizens’ Dinner. It’s a wonderful way for Seniors to connect and be welcomed into the community. For more information on how to sign up, email: [email protected]

Tuesday 13 December

Social justice
The Centre for Social Justice website provides information about diverse social justice issues. Their mission is for those living in the poorest and most disadvantaged communities across Britain to be given every opportunity to flourish and reach their full potential.
Take a moment to visit the site and learn a little more.

Wednesday 14 December

Take action
Take up an action inspired by your visit to the Centre for Social Justice website. Offer your time and find ways to actively support an issue you care about.

Thursday 15 December

Send a little joy
Make an effort to send a Christmas card to someone who is alone or someone you don’t know very well. Reach out, connect and let them know you are thinking of them.

Friday 16 December

Look to the future
Social Justice isn't just for Advent, think about a long-term volunteering commitment. Learn more about a cause you care about and see what impact you can have long term.

Saturday 17 December

Reach out and engage
Should you see a rough sleeper stop and speak to them. Ask them their name and about their story. Take a moment to listen and connect.

Sunday 18 December

A prayer
Take a moment and say a prayer for refugees and asylum seekers.
The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19.34

Monday 19 December

Get involved and take action
Think of a fundraising idea for Centre 33 (individual or as a group) and send your ideas to [email protected]. Hopefully, in the New Year your idea can help raise valuable funds for this great local cause.
To learn more about Centre 33, head to

Tuesday 20 December

Sustainable gifting
Buy a sustainable last minute Christmas gift from a charity shop or charity bookshop e.g. Oxfam in St Albans or the Lions shop in Hemel Hempstead. Shop consciously, help reduce unnecessary waste this Christmas, whilst supporting valuable charities.

Wednesday 21 December

Donate a cup of tea
Offer to buy a rough sleeper a hot drink, some food, or a gift card from a coffee shop. Ask them what they would prefer and take a moment to engage, support and connect.

Thursday 22 December

Offering support, one person at a time
Working for social justice can feel overwhelming. You can focus on one person today by visiting and making a donation.

Friday 23 December

Stand together
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Think about finding an opportunity to support them. It doesn't have to be today, but start thinking about ways in which you can be present and offer much needed support.

Saturday 24 December

A Christmas prayer
God with us
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace.
John 1.14