The bidding prayer for the world-renowned Carol Service from King’s College Cambridge includes the passage: “but first let us pray for the needs of the world…, the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed, the sick and them that mourn…”. It seems especially right this Christmas, as we refl…ect on the catastrophe of the typhoon in the Philippines that as we give thanks for and celebrate the Nativity we should also remember Our Lord’s words, “when you fed the hungry so you did it unto me” (Matthew 24:31-40). After discussion with the Churchwardens of our six parishes we have decided it is right to launch a Christmas Appeal to help support the relief work in the Philippines. We shall have special collection boxes and plates with the aim of collecting in the first week in December and sending a cheque directly via the United Society which was founded by the Church of England in 1701 to support the charitable work of the church abroad, and in this case we shall send a cheque to their special Philippine Appeal. I know that the money will get there quickly and directly to the place of need, to reliable local churches just like ours that are organising relief on the ground, and the relief will be given to all regardless of faith or denomination.  If you wish to donate a cheque please make it payable to Castor PCC in an envelope marked Philippines and deliver it to myself, Simon Leeds or Helen Boulton (Castor churchwardens) or the Benefice Office at the Cedar Centre.  In addition there will be collection boxes in the pubs, Castor School the Paper Shop.  On 8th December at the services at Marholm, Castor (both at morning mass and at the Christingle) and Stibbington there will be retiring collections for special donations.  Please help us support so many people in desperate need this Christmastide.  Best wishes to you all for Christmas.  William