Two of our senior choristers, Rhianwen and Freya, (pictured) gave this lovely carol service a splendid start with their singing of the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City. The choir sang verse two from the back of the church and the following candlelit procession set a lovely atmosphere for this well-loved festival service. We had advertised the service by distributing posters in and around the Maindee/Newport area and were rewarded with a wonderful congregation of well over 200! We even ran out of candles such was the turn-out. Our thanks to everyone who supported the service and this attendance certainly gave everyone a massive lift before the service began.

The choir had worked extremely hard for many weeks to prepare for both the Advent Carol Service and then, three weeks later, for the Nine Lessons and Carols. Choristers learned several new pieces and were re-acquainted with well-loved carols from our repertoire. I was delighted that the young choristers showed how much confidence they have gained over the last year by their strong singing and excellent attention. They are so well supported by the adult sopranos and the alto, tenor and bass sections that the sound of the full choir was glorious. The choir’s soft singing was a lovely contrast to the forte sections and many extremely positive comments were received from members of our St John’s congregation, visitors to the church and several friends of members of the choir.

The service was led by Father Will, our parish Priest, and as ever, my very grateful thanks to him, to the soloists, Rhianwen, Freya and Dawn, to Linda for her accompaniments, to the readers and, especially to the choir for their super support and talent. There were 38 choristers participating in the service and the choir stalls were full to overflowing. Such occasions fill me with pride and it is such a great pleasure and privilege to work with the youngsters and the older ladies and gents when we lead our worship on a weekly basis but especially on great occasions such as the Carol Service.

I would like to thank the wardens and sidespersons for their hard work at the beginning  and end of the service as they tried to share the candles and then the mince pies among the large congregation!

St John's Church Maindee