We wish you a Merry Christmas and so do officials across the district - so here are a few of their messages for you.
The Right Reverend Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” has to be one of the most familiar openings in the history of film making. Imagine it went on “it is a time of hope across the galaxy. The Imperial army have been utterly defeated. Nothing of particular note is happening anywhere across the galaxy”. In no time at all, we would probably be asking for our money back, because we had come to be inspired by another tale of good triumphing over evil, against all the odds. There is something deep within the human spirit that craves adventure. Yet the raw and real experience of life tells us there is not always a fairy tale ending to the things we hope for. The story of Christmas contains an essential message of hope for the whole world. Angels’ voices on a hillside announced to a group of unsuspecting shepherds that baby was born nearby. They told them this child would be the source of “good news of great joy for all people”. The new Star Wars movie may be an entertaining distraction for a few hours, but the story of Jesus is an invitation to join in an adventure that can flood our lives and our world with new hope, and we can all play a part in that."
Richard Mitchell, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive
"My first Christmas as chief executive gives me a chance to reflect on my initial six months here. I am proud to be part of #TeamSFH and have met many of our fantastic staff, volunteers and patients to understand how we can further improve patient care. I have also seen some of our incredible services, including the occupational therapy woodworking workshop for patients recovering from stroke. These six months have been humbling and I can honestly say they have been the most enjoyable of my career. I know there will be many of us celebrating joyous Christmases with loved ones and yet there will also be those of us missing loved ones. Whichever Christmas you have, all of #TeamSFH wish you a peaceful one. I especially want to thank the staff and volunteers at Sherwood and our partner organisations who will be missing Christmas with their own friends and family to care for those in our hospitals 24 hours a day over the Bank Holidays. Remember, if you are struggling this year, you can call the Samaritans for free anytime on 116123."
Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP
"It’s been a hugely eventful and to be honest an historic year for Mansfield, particularly in politics of course, and on a personal note it’s one I’ll remember forever for the incredible pride I feel at being elected to represent the people of Mansfield back in June. I’m doing my very best to represent you to the best of my ability and to be more open and communicative than ever; I hope it shows. Can I say a huge thank you for all of your kind support so far. You know where I am if you need me. Christmas time is here, the end of the year, and I hope you’ll all take the time to be with friends and family, and get a little bit of peace in our ever-more frantic world. It always goes by faster than you think so enjoy yourself. Merry Christmas to all."
Caroline Cox, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 operations director
"The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. It’s hard to believe it’s time to say Merry Christmas already! It’s time for reflection and acknowledging the accomplishments in 2017. Our business community has drawn together even closer and we continue to accomplish more than ever by working in partnership. We truly do have a shared community. Mansfield and Ashfield is a network of communities increasingly active in responding to our districts needs in order to prosper, grow, develop and most of all nurture our next generation. I’m proud to be part of a district that stands up and fights hard to be better than yesterday and constantly improves year on year. With the developments scheduled for 2018 and beyond I know Mansfield and Ashfield is going places. Christmas time offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we all have been a part of to make our home districts a better place and ask ourselves – what can we do next year?"
Carolyn Radford, Mansfield Town FC chief executive
"This time for many of us is a celebration filled with excitement of receiving presents, eating and drinking lots and spending time with loved ones. Although magical for some, for others struggling this time can be the loneliest and one of the worst periods. Therefore, I hope all can spread some Christmas love, whether that’s reaching out to loved ones you may not have seen in a while, or even donating a little bit of money to those less fortunate than yourself. I would also like to take this moment to thank everyone who has supported me this last year. Step by step, we are rising up the league table and I hope to see some of you at the Boxing Day match.”
Gloria De Piero, Ashfield MP
"Christmas is a time for families to come together, exchange gifts and over-indulge in festive foods. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everybody. There will be many people in Ashfield who will spend Christmas alone or who cannot afford to spoil the kids with much-wished for toys or turkey with all the trimmings. Then there will be those who have lost loved ones and for whom Christmas will just not be the same. We have a fantastic community here and there are people who try to eliminate loneliness at Christmas by putting on events to bring people together. I have also recently seen how generous people are with their time and donations to foodbanks, making sure those in need can eat well and enjoy their Christmas dinner. I am proud of how Ashfield pulls together to help each other at this time of year and I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas."
Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor
"What a year 2017 has been, lots has happened and lots to celebrate too. The market has had a real buzz and the specialist markets throughout the year have been a huge success. The addition of the Christmas market in the last few weeks has enhanced the feeling of the season and brought in many more visitors which is great. The Christmas lights switch-on wowed the crowds. The feel of the town centre was electric with excitement with the children screaming for Santa and joining in with the singing and dancing. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making the day go so smoothly. I encourage you, if you have not already, to go and see this year’s pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. I enjoyed it, the audience were mesmerised by the characters and the 3D special effects were amazing."
Councillor Cheryl Butler, Ashfield District Council leader
"As Christmas is fast approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the many volunteers in Ashfield, especially those who spend time over the festive season to help those less fortunate than others. Without their help and support many people would not enjoy this holiday season at all. We have a wonderful community spirit in Ashfield, seen in the many and varied acts of kindness we witness on a regular basis. My thoughts and appreciation are also sent to those public sector workers who work on Christmas Day ensuring they are there for us should we need them, the nurses, police officers, firefighters, ambulance workers to name a few. I would also like to send my very best wishes for a happy and joyous Christmas to every resident and business in Ashfield. I hope Christmas day brings you love and laughter as well as fun family times."
Mark Spencer, Sherwood MP
"The tinsel’s going up and the lights are coming on, and gradually people are getting into the Christmas spirit. It’s been cold enough lately to remind us just how close we are – we even had a dusting of snow to top it all! Although I haven’t been able to make all the switch-ons – what with being in London guiding the Withdrawal Bill through Parliament – I’ve enjoyed going through the villages in my patch, seeing the lights and the Christmas stalls and even getting myself the odd glass of mulled wine. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas."
Runu Ahad, Secretary-General for Mansfield Jamee Masjid and the Mansfield and Ashfield Bangladeshi Association
"Tis the season to be jolly, but forget not the reason for it all. For the Christian faith, this is a celebration of the miracle birth of Jesus and his coming to the world as Lord and saviour. The world is now a very different place. Evidently, our societies are a mix of different creeds and religions and there is much for us all to gain by embracing this diversity. This essentially means we all should all make an effort to learn and respect each other beliefs and coexist in harmony. The Quran speaks of Jesus’ – Isa in Arabic – miracle birth and Muslim’s accept and respect him a messenger of the same God, who we call Allah. The message from me, our Imam Nurur Rahman and the community of Mansfield Jamee Masjid is ‘we keep the wellbeing of mankind kind in our daily prayers and especially for this season of goodwill, may our friends, neighbours and the people of Mansfield enjoy the glad tidings of Christmas."