Last night I attended the Candlelit Carol Service at Eastleigh Baptist Church. My friends have recently joined the church and sang at the choir, so I went there for support and friendship.
The service was absolutely brilliant, uplifting, and enjoyable. It was beautifully intertwined with poetry, drama, and songs. There was a choir made up of adults and children, a top-class 4-people band, a modern drama (family got stuck on M25; a sulky teenager; train being late), a classical play (with costumes; tea-towel-headed shepherds that sort of thing), and Spoken Word. The Spoken Word was beautifully written: short passages in rhymes, and the narrators were passionate with their narration. To top that, both screens highlighted the keywords being read, so the visual impact was very powerful.
One of the songs sung by the choir was We Have A Saviour. It was the first time I heard of this song so it was quite refreshing. I’m not that technical, but I felt that the church acoustics were pretty impressive as you felt warmly surrounded by the beautiful voices. Here is a video I found about this song.
Christmas Day Church Service
This year we spent Christmas in Chandler’s Ford, so we got the chance to go to the church in the morning. My son and I went to the Methodist Church in Chandler’s Ford and it was packed with people from all over the world. We were sitting with another Malaysian family, and my son was pretty surprised to find that there is more than one Malaysian (me) in Chandler’s Ford. Sitting behind us was a large group of smartly dressed Indian family (about a dozen of them).
People must have come from all over the country as well. When the topic of football was mentioned (a child proudly showed off her new Manchester United football shirt), in the congregation, many people showed their loyalty to some distant clubs far in the Midlands or the North that I’ve never heard of. (Will I need to know about these football clubs to pass the UK Citizenship Test one day?)
The service was also cleverly done, with a sermon, and something else quite different. There was a short comedy play about Basil and Sybil from Fawlty Towers running the Inn at Bethlehem. In the play, when Sybil was surprised by the bright star, Basil’s answer was, “Yes, that tends to happen; it’s night”. Basil was pretty much against immigrants so he put Mary and Joseph in the stable. Imagine the shock of Basil when he realised the couple in the stable could have been potential royalties! There were also topical references, for example, Basil didn’t want to see Bethlehem Defence League outside the hotel for protest!
Later a very sweet video was played. It’s called The Greatest Journey. Absolutely enjoyable! 20 seconds into the video, you’ll know it mirrors the popular, wonderful, catchy poem, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen, and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
I’m sharing the links of both videos here for your enjoyment.
Michael Rosen performs We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
The Greatest Journey by the Bible Society
I hope you have had a great Christmas day today. My parents in law came over and we prepared the meal for the first time (mostly by my husband; I helped cutting carrots). It wasn’t too stressful as we kept the preparation simple and didn’t aim for perfection.
We received lots of thoughtful gifts, including clothes, books, a hamper of food, bags, skin care products, and also money for the teenager. This year, we bought our main gifts from Brambridge Garden Centre, books from Waterstones, chocolate drinks from Whittard, and some clothes from Marks and Spencer. Surprisingly I spotted 2 Doctor Who books by the BBC from the discount retailer The Works last week. These made great presents for the world’s number one Doctor Who fan in my family. My son hoped to get a Doctor Who calendar 2018, but granny bought the Country Life calendar instead. I must say the photos in the Country Life calendar are absolutely stunning.