THE Christmas season started in the parish with three stunning performances by Powick Parish Community Choir in Stanbrook Abbey.

The solo verse of Once in Royal was sung by young Ben Madden, head chorister at Worcester Cathedral Choir, and by Jenny Newton, from Hereford Cathedral School, on separate nights.

Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah then followed. The Overture was played by the Chamber Orchestra.

The choir sang Glory to God followed by Jenny singing How beautiful are the Feet and Let the bright Seraphim with Charlotte Ellis on trumpet, and the choir ended the concert with the Hallelujah Chorus.

Ben Madden sang the favourite Walking in the Air accompanied by the orchestra who also played the Dance of the Snowmen.

Miriam Griffiths sang solo verses in Tom Wells’ arrangement of In the bleak midwinter, while Jenny Newton sang Silent Night in the original German.

Tom Wells is also a composer and the choir sang his hymn of hope entitled Somewhere in the Darkness and his more recent composition based on the opening of St John’s Gospel, Sleep now, Thou child divine which was a world premiere and dedicated to the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey.

The choir is indebted to Stanbrook Abbey management for the use of its beautiful chapel, to the lighting and sound engineers and to Ian Gane as compere, and of course the musical director Tom Wells.

After the performance, a retiring collection for Maggs Day Centre raised more than £400. From the singing at two brunches on Sundays in December, more than £300 was raised for Sense, the deaf/blind charity.

Powick School held their version of the Nativity as told by a family looking back over the 2000 years to the first Christmas. The whole of Key Stage 2 performed in a packed Powick Church.

Year 5 told the story of the Annunciation and Gabriel’s message, singing the carol The Angel Gabriel.

Year 6 told the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, singing Singing all the days of our lives and Year 3 enacted the story of the shepherds and the angels and sang A starry night.

The visit of the Kings was told by Year 4, ending with an upbeat song The Guys with the camels.

The whole school sang Just a tale and the service ended with O come all ye faithful.

At Callow End, the school met in St James’ church for their service with the story of the Nativity narrated by the children of Year 6.

The traditional service of Nine lessons and Carols was held in St Peter’s church on Sunday when the choir processed to Once in Royal with the solo verse sung by Lin Snook.

The readers were: Robert Floyd (representing the farming community). Kay Shuard (from Junior Church in Callow End), Margaret Allen (from Powyke WI), John Mason (from the Royal British Legion), Iain Brown (from the Bryron’s Wood community), Jean Dendy (from Colletts Green community), Andy Lamb (of Powick Parish Council), and Nick Sandy (representing Powick Players pantomime group).

The final reading from St John’s Gospel was read by Reverend Sue Irwin.

The choir sang the carol In the bleak midwinter, solo verses by Lyn Snook and David Purdham, and the choir, with organist Lindall Brown, sang Lift up your heads by Weissel/Marsh.

The service ended with Hark the Herald and was followed by a medley of carols by Powick Handbell Ringers, and coffee and mince pies were served.

The first service of 2014 is the service of Epiphany on January 5 at 11am at St Peter’s and at 9.30am at St James’.

Powick Ramblers’ next walk is planned for Friday, January 3. Garth will lead a four-mile flat walk, starting at 10am and meeting at Leigh and Bransford Village Hall.

MEG ALLSOPP 01905 830746


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