Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 22nd. Carol Service at the Church of St James the Less

Very pleasant to stand outside on an unusually fine evening and admire the Millennium stained glass window. See here for details of this window.

Photographs of the Carol Service on the next page. “Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)


Brass plaque marking the Washington tomb.


Altar decorations.


The Nativity figurines are placed on the altar to be collected by the children and taken to the crib.




The organist has driven all the way from Kettering so we can raise our voices with confidence.


The “technicians” are in place to enable those of us with hearing problems to follow everything!


Carol sheets ready to be handed out.









The Chairman of the Parish Council is after your money!













We were privileged to be treated to two songs by Micaela Haslam, professional singer and Sulgrave resident. First, she sang “The Virgin’s Cradle-Hymn” by Herbert Fryer and then later, the aria “Rejoice” from Handel’s “Messiah”. Seldom has such a pure sound echoed around the ancient building……


The figurines are collected from the altar……


…..and placed in the crib.




Time for refreshments.





Vicar and organist enjoy a cup of tea……


……as do the helpers, Ken……


…..Ingram and Shrimp…….


……who are the last to leave as darkness falls.

The church was packed for the service and everyone present enjoyed singing the traditional carols. However, there are those in the village who, perhaps through advanced age, illness or frailty cannot get to the church. Until recently there was a tradition in the village in which carol singers walked round the village, choosing a number of vantage points at which to sing a number of carols for all who cared to come to their doors and listen. Residents were pre-warned of these performances by volunteers who went on ahead to collect for charity. These activities in 2013 can be seen by clicking on this link:

Carol Singing in 2013.

There are many new people in the village who come to the Advent Window parties and join in village activities. Before the next Christmas season perhaps some ideas might come forward for restoring the old tradition.

Similarly, the tradition of putting up Christmas wreaths on telephone poles around the village has faltered this year. In the “Carol Singing in 2013” website item above, many volunteers can be seen collecting the foliage and making the wreaths.

As can be seen in this picture, despite advance publicity, very disappointingly, no more than three volunteers turned up this year, compared to seventeen in 2013. There was a great deal of holly but it was clearly unfair to expect those volunteers to make more than a handful of wreaths and these have been put up in vantage points in the village. It was decided to make the rest of the foliage available to villagers who were invited to help themselves from a pile near the village shop.

Once again, it would be appropriate for us all to reflect on whether we want this tradition to continue and if so to turn up when required!

Colin Wootton



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