Amid all the chaos and commercialism at Christmastime, there are some traditions which thankfully hold strong and deliver the perfect antidote to everyday life – the Christmas carol service being one of them.
Last week I attended two very different but equally enjoyable local examples.
The first was one of grandeur and celebrities at the Holy Trinity Church in Guildford High Street. This magnificent Georgian building with its ornate gold leafed ceiling housed a hundred plus people who had purchased tickets in support of the Surrey Life CHASE Carol Concert 2009. Guest readers and singers included Surrey Life magazine columnists Max Clifford and Nicholas Owen and the ACM Gospel Choir. Following a series of familiar Christmas carols with full audience participation, we were offered wine and canapés at a post-concert reception alongside a charity raffle with some fantastic prizes donated by local Guildford businesses. Needless to say I came away empty handed!
In complete contrast was a much more subtle modest affair at my own village church, St Michael & All Angels in Pirbright near Guildford. We arrived to the sound of pealing bells with glass lanterns leading the way along a very snowy path and were presented with our own single candle by which we read the order of service and carols – some more obscure than others but all very Christmassy! Mulled wine and mince pies rounded off what was a delightfully villagey evening.
Is there a Christmas carol service taking place near you? If so, why not take time out to pop along and enjoy this very simple English tradition – Charles Dickens would be proud!
Member since: 27th June 2012
Claire Dee is a freelance communications consultant running her own business near Guildford. Claire can help with all your communications needs: writing, editing, journalism, media relations, training....