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Christmas 2020: a snapshot

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2021 08:43 PM

As the saying goes, 'necessity is the mother of invention', and our parishes and schools have been as innovative as we have come to expect in this unprecedented year. Here's what various parishes and schools have to say about their local celebrations, many of which reached a much wider audience.

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Corfe Mullen

Matt Smith, Corfe Mullen:

"We at St Nicholas Church, Corfe Mullen have been enjoying filming a nativity play, lots of characters played by a few actors, our 3 Kings visited the local Alpaca rescue centre to film a scene, nearest thing we could find to camels. So much fun!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Bradford Deanery

Dawn Farmer, Bradford Deanery:

"Sent on behalf of the Rural Dean, Canon Andrew Evans, to share with you the online Socially Distanced Nativity created and compiled by members of his benefice (Broughton Gifford, Great Chalfield and Holt). The nativity has the gospel message at its heart and a bit of fun as well. Enjoy and do share with all your friends and families using this link."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Carols Reach 1000s

St John's Devizes:

When the choir heard that their 2020 Carol Service would have to be pre-recorded, they had just 10 days to prepare themselves for a full programme of Christmas music. Following a socially-distanced video recording session with swift editing by Curate Gerry Lynch, the church's 9 Lessons and Carols was premièred on Christmas Day, and has received over 10,000 views on Facebook and YouTube. Director of Music Chris Totney, said: "It has been a privilege this Christmas, at such a difficult time for many, to have this wonderful chance to spread the good news of Jesus' birth far and wide." The video of the Carol Service can be viewed here.

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Wyke Regis- Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Lucy Clarke, Wyke Regis, after the carol service was broadcast:

"Last night was wonderful, please pass on our thanks to everyone involved in making it happen. My dad in Scotland tuned in too...he said he'd felt so connected to us as a result." Read an article and see footage here.

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Chalke Valley Nine Lessons and Carols

Emily Broomhead, Chalke Valley:

"In a week when plans to celebrate have changed and many may be apprehensive about gathering together, we offer you a simply glorious way to approach Christmas. This virtual service has contributions from every parish in our Benefice, many of your favourite carols, and is simply one of the best services we have done this year."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Chalke Valley Christingles

Emily adds:

"Every normal year the children of Coombe Bissett School come to the Church of St Michael and All Angels to take part in their Christingle service. This year of course is not normal! It was unsafe to bring children in their separate school bubbles with their parents into church. So, we decided to take Christingles to them in bags!" Read more...

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Trowbridge Camel

Ruth Barber, Trowbridge:

"Here's a camel and 3 wise women! I'm furthest left, then Alison Bennett (Leader of Kingfisher Church) is in the middle, with Alice Bull holding the head. Alison's 2 daughters were inside the camel - a last minute change after Mark Bennett had to self-isolate! Just one of the many hurdles that had to be overcome to make it happen!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Harnham

Becky Roberts, Harnham:

"On Sunday 20th December, between 3.00 and 6.00pm, over 400 people walked, cycled or drove the route of the Harnham Parish Church and Community Drive Around Nativity. The way was lit by sparkling stars and the song of the angels!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Dorchester

Rita Kennett, Dorchester:

"Just thought you might like to see the Advent Windows in Treves Road – a neighbour organised this in Queens Ave which prompted Helen [Kennett] to organise one!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Cranborne

Sandi Malpas, Cranborne:

"This nativity scene in the porch of the church in Cranborne was made by the pupils and the Head of Art and the Head of Design and Technology at Cranborne Middle School with the help of the community in Cranborne. The pupils and staff at Cranborne First School made the hanging snowflakes and stars. It will form the focus for our socially-distanced outdoor carol singing by the light of flares in the churchyard on Christmas Eve."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Bristol Schools Connection

Liz Ogborne, Bristol Schools Connection:

"Here's Christmas in a Box! We’re getting amazing feedback as the resource has been used in a number of schools already, which is so encouraging."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Colehill

Suzanne Pattle, Colehill:

"You may be interested in this link - St Michael’s Middle School Carol Service online. The Head of Music, Ed Johnston, has written a song called ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and invited people to donate to Poole charity Routes to Roots through Just Giving - the total raised so far is over £1000!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Salisbury

Kelvin Inglis, Salisbury:

"Here's our crib scene, especially created by local craftsmen and women and almost life size!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Tarrant Monkton- original photo
Original photo

Fiona MacEwen, Tarrant Monkton:

"All Saints Church in Tarrant Monkton, held their annual Carol Service on the Sunday before Christmas. This year it was extended into the churchyard to allow more of the villagers to attend given the social distancing required. The church was washed with light and looked magical. Lights twinkled in the yew trees. The lay-led service of carols and readings was successfully relayed to outside. At the end of the service the children sang Away in a Manager in a Nativity Tableau as the congregation left the churchyard. The evening was dry and to complete the scene there shone a bright star above us. It was deemed a success and the PCC have been asked to do it again next year!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Trowbridge Winner

Harriet Heard, Trowbridge:

"The winners of the Trowbridge Nativity Trail competition have been presented with their prizes. In first place was Barbara Wozniak, aged 9, pictured collecting her prize with her siblings. Barbara's mum said, on hearing she had won, "We are very surprised and happy. We enjoyed the trail and it was amazing. It took us, all our little family, 3 days to complete because we wanted to walk as it made us more aware and empathised with the story of the first Christmas."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Wimborne Choir
Photo by Russell Sach

Anthony Oliver, Wimborne:

"The Minster Choir are planning to sing Carols, socially distanced, on the Minster Green alongside the Minster Church on Saturday 19th December from 3.00pm until 4.00pm. In this year when we are all missing the usual round of Carol Singing Events it is hoped that this event will give some cheer to the passing shoppers as Christmas Day approaches. In a normal year we would have been hosting Carols in the Cornmarket this Friday evening and the Shoppers Carol Service in the Minster on Saturday morning."

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Bridport

Philip Ringer, Bridport:

"Last night’s Blue Light Carol Service was a tremendous success. Gary Hepburn did a fantastic job against some considerable obstacles. Christmas blessings from Bridport to you and your family." Watch the service here.

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Wimborne Choristers
Photo by Russell Sach

Russell Sach, Wimborne:

"The Choristers have made the Times both in print and online today and the Telegraph online pictures of the day gallery, though i haven't seen the paper yet!"

Christmas 2020- a snapshot- Trowbridge Humour

Finally, from Ruth Barber in Trowbridge again:

"I decided that today’s the day to treat myself to a little editing, and hopefully the results will put a smile on your face. Strap yourselves in, and please don’t be offended by anything. It’s just a bit of fun." Read 8 pages of humour and amusing cartoons here.

(And if you haven't discovered our parish humour page yet, here it is.)

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