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Christmas – Season of Joy

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Dec, 2010 09:01 PM

Churches in Wiltshire and Dorset are celebrating the Season of Advent in many different ways in the lead-up to Christmas.

Christmas – Season of Joy

Christmas 2010

Traditional candlelit services include a concert at Edington Priory Church, featuring a range of music from medieval to present-day (Friday 10 December, 7.30pm) and quiet, spiritual services at St John’s Priory Chapel, West Street, Wilton (Friday 3, 10, 17 December, 7pm).

Churches venturing further afield include St Simon & St Jude Church, Milton-on-Stour, who will hold a Christmas Fayre in the Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Gillingham (Saturday 4 December, 10am - 12 noon). Crossways Church are holding a Café-style Christmas fundraiser in a local youth and community centre (Saturday 4 December, 10am–12noon).

Those taking a lead in town festivities include Blandford Forum Parish Church. The Revd Tim Storey is chair of a group organising a school lantern parade, carols, live music, Christmas markets and a fireworks finale (Wednesday 15 December, 5.30-9pm).

Mr Storey said: “One year we had Jesus stolen from the crib at our midnight communion service. On Christmas morning, it all seemed empty and meaningless without him. That sums it up for me.”

Christian pantomime will take place in venues such as St Paul’s, Salisbury with the Saltmine touring theatre company providing the entertainment (‘The Three Musketeers’, Tuesday 21 December, 6.30 - 9pm).

St Katharine’s, Holt will host an Advent meal and music workshop open to people of all faiths, led by a member of the Iona Community (Sunday 5 December, 3pm onwards).

The Christmas festival at St Laurence Church, Hilmarton will feature knitted decorations and a "knitted" tree (Saturday 11 December, 6pm - 9pm).

Meanwhile St James’ church will be reprising their popular and lively ‘Beer and Carols’ event in the Alderholt Sports Club Bar (Sunday 19 December, 6pm). The Vicar, Revd Pip Martin, said, “Last time the pianist played so strong, his cider spilled and silenced the keyboard, but it's dried out now and ready to go!”



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