Before writing the article each month I usually look back to see what I had written the year before. This month I have found that I could have used almost the same words as last year with just a few minor adjustments but I resisted the temptation (mostly).
The attendance at our traditional candlelit carol service on 11th December was very good. We are grateful once again to the Lambourn choir and their Organist and Choir Master, Stephen Holmes, for their support with the singing of the carols and for their solo items. After the service we enjoyed mulled wine and hot mince pies.
The Christmas story was told in a refreshing way at our Nativity Service in the afternoon of Saturday 17th December with the Old Star describing to a New Star what was happening. The twist at the end of the story was that the Old Star had been the one that marked the place where Jesus was born over 2000 years ago. After the service, most of the participants enjoyed a tea party in the Village Hall. We have made a donation from the collection to the Friends of PICU (the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton hospital). This unit played such a huge part in the recovery of Beth Furneaux during 2016.
On the 19th December, after a splendid display by the Garston Gallopers in the car park, our “choir” led the singing of carols in a packed Queens Arms. Thanks to Sue and Freddie Tulloch for publicising and hosting the evening and to Stephen Holmes and some of the Lambourn choir for helping to enhance the singing. A collection raised almost £360 for church funds.
The church was packed again for the Christmas morning communion service when we used our antique silver chalices withdrawn from the Treasury at Christ Church for this special occasion. Our home-grown violin and cello trio of David, Hannah and Rachel Glover played “Once in royal David’s city” and violin duo of Sophie and Jonathan Pannett-Smith played the introductory melody of “Away in a manger”.
We have made donations to Christian Aid and the Children’s Society from the Christmas collections.
The Gift Appeal that we made in December has raised just over £3000 and we will be able to claim another £730 in Gift Aid from HMRC so a very big “Thank you” to all contributed.