Updated: Dec 11, 2020
This year it's neither possible nor advisable to pack people into our churches for carol services, but we weren't about let that get in the way of celebrating Christmas, so I had a brainwave about a month ago. I contacted colleagues in other churches which serve the same area as me and the headteachers of all the schools in the same villages (which are the villages to the east of Wetherby - Boston Spa, Bramham, Clifford, Thorp Arch and Walton) and asked it they were up for contributing to an online carol service. The result is we are pulling together a community carol service with readings and prayers from the leaders of 9 churches, and carols, artwork and readings from 4 schools, with contributions from Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People and, we hope, the chaplain team at Wealstun Prison.
In technical terms, before I was a vicar, I was an audio engineer and producer, mainly for classical CDs and classical music concert broadcasts, so a lot of my old skillset has come into its own during lockdown. In the Spring and Summer of 2020, we put out regular Sunday services with contributions recorded in people's own homes and gardens and sent to me via Whatsapp, WeTransfer and so on. I edited them all together, and seeing lots of familiar faces leading worship really helped people in that period, I'm sure. Since public worship resumed in the churches, most of our worship has been livestreamed on Facebook rather than pre-recorded and edited, so this carol service is a return to the early lockdown style. It does mean we can add captions, and words for people to sing along at home!
Everyone is welcome to join in the carol service from the comfort of their own home. It won't be an epic, long production, just a simple retelling of the Christmas story in Bible readings, carols, poems and prayers. Join us online at 7pm on Wed 23rd December, or anytime afterwards as the video will remain online indefinitely afterwards.
How to watch:
Go to Facebook.com/BramhamBenefice
The Rev'd Nick Morgan is priest in charge of The Bramham Benefice, a group of four churches serving the villages of Boston Spa, Bramham, Thorp Arch and Walton.