Make a Joyful Noise unto the God of Jacob

Many thanks to Kerstin Lewis for a write up of events in St Adwena, St Julitta and St Thomas.

(Psalm 81 v 1)

Throughout the months of December and January our three churches have been filled with the joyful sounds of hearty singing. It all started on December 3rd with our traditional Advent Carol service at St Adwena. What better way to celebrate Advent in Advent?! This was followed by a joint Christmas Carol Service for the congregations of St Julitta and St Adwena later in the month. Traditional Bible readings brought the message of Advent and the story of Christmas alive and both were enhanced and illustrated by the words of the well known hymns and carols. The Benefice service on Christmas morning was the next joyous gathering with some amazing singing and the familiar rhythm of BCP Morning Prayer.

Songs of Praise at St Thomas in January took the theme From Christmas to Epiphany and Beyond. We had a whistlestop tour from Christmas to Candlemass through St Stephen, St John, The Holy Innocents, St Thomas of Canterbury, New Year’s Eve, The Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ. Each had its own hymn sung to a well known tune even if the words were unfamiliar and a relevant poem or prayer – many by Revd Malcolm Guite.

On Saturday 20th we celebrated The Epiphany with another joint Carol Service, this time at St Julitta’s. Again traditional hymns and readings explored the story of The Epiphany and the other manifestations of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.

We are very grateful to our organists Gareth Stubberfield and Steve Tyrell and our team of bell ringers for all they do to enhance our worship in such a joyful manner.

All our services involved some form of hospitality from tea and delicious homemade cakes at St Thomas’, mince pies & mulled wine, sausage rolls & sherry at St Adwena to a full blown pasty and pudding supper at St Julitta’s. Congregations were delighted to stay and chat long after the end of the service and so the joy engendered by the music and readings continued long after the churches themselves returned to their peaceful, prayerful normality.

As we move on into 2024 watch out for our regular Songs of Praise services (first Sunday at 4.00pm at St Thomas’) and our planned programme of Songs of Praise and Choral Evensongs at St Julitta’s and St Adwena!

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