What a fantastic way to start Christmas!

Wow! Ho-ho-ho! What a fantastic way to start the Christmas season!

Good food… good company… superb location… crackers, jokes and silly hats… and the inimitable Mark Greenwood to make the whole thing explode with a bang!

Thanks, Mark, for making our Heart of England Festive Christmas Banquet such a wonderful evening! And thank you Jan and the staff at Hampton Manor for making us so welcome at Solihull’s premier dining venue!

Mark, as expected, had us all in stitches with his amazing after-dinner talk. My ribs were still aching the following morning (or was that due to a pulled muscle when I got into the car??).

Delivered with a good helping of Northern humour (Bradford, actually, but as a Lancashire lad I’ll forgive him that!) Mark began by telling us how he loved everything about Christmas except SPROUTS! Urged on by the sprout-haters in the audience, Mark proceeded to denigrate all unfortunate sprout-lovers… until he made it clear that none of us is perfect – and that’s why God sent Jesus as a Christmas present to save us from our hang-ups (including soap-on-a-rope!).

Next, Mark started to tell us (with suitable bodily contortions) how he and his wife (or should I say Mark’s wife, with Mark in tow) go about choosing a real Christmas tree. After many knowing nods from husbands, Mark seamlessly led us to the climax of his talk with Jesus as the Light of the World (ah yes, of course, via the lights on the duly decorated Christmas tree!).

Finally, Mark asked us all to explore the claims of the Nativity story more closely this year, and to ask whether God really DID come to earth as a person in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Whether we accept him with a ‘big yes’, a ‘small yes’ or a ‘not sure’, he urged us to keep an open mind as we explore the REAL meaning of the Christmas season.

All in all, a wonderful evening … and we look forward to seeing lots of new friends at our next Filling Station meeting on 8th January 2018.

P.S. Just how did Mark manage to make a turkey out of a tea-towel???

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