As we approached St. Mark’s Church, at about 3.40 p.m. on Sunday 24th December, we were surprised to see the building glowing in different colours!
The church was filling up fast!
At 4.00 p.m. the service began with The Rev. Eileen welcoming and greeting everybody.
As this was the 4th Sunday in Advent, she then invited people forward to light the 4 red candles in the Advent ring – one to symbolise Hope, one for Peace, one for Love and finally one for Joy.
We then sang “Away in a Manger” before saying sorry to God for the bad things we’d thought, said and done and wished we hadn’t.
Then, as we sang “Halleluiah, sing to Jesus”, people came round to collect the Christingle donations that would be sent to The Children’s’ Society.
When the money had all been gathered in, children from St. Mark’s School went to the front to sing “Wise Men are we” and “Tonight”.
The children then stayed at the front whilst Eileen spoke to us about the Christmas story.
Then, after the prayers, which were based on the elements of the Christingle itself, children were invited to come to the front to collect their lighted Christingles.
To be honest, it was a bit of a scrum but …..
….. amazingly everybody managed to get back to their seats safely with their candles lit!
Then the electric lights were lowered and we all sang Silent night by the light of the candles.
Then Eileen asked everybody to blow their candles out ….
….. before we sang “Ding dong merrily on high” and she gave the final blessing.
By the time we left the church it was dark outside and the external lighting was even more dramatic.
Well done Karl!
and a blessed new year to everyone!