Local Churches Join Together for Special Carol Service

  • The Filling Station Carol Service in Henley with Canon J John
    Canon J John

Christmas is all about getting together and sharing. Across the land there are companies that get together to have Christmas parties, there are charities that share food and clothing with the needy and there are of course families that get together with some of them travelling from the other side of the world to be with their loved ones.

On Wednesday evening  in Henley Town Hall and Market Place there was a wonderful get together of local people and the Henley and village churches to share the true message of Christmas. Families and people of all ages enjoyed delicious free food and drinks from local businesses and churches, as they listened first to a group of young Christian rap artists that had led them up from the Living Advent Calendar at Stuart Turners. The Christmas lights in the square gave a really festive glow and the outdoor screen at the side of the Town Hall building gave those enjoying the refreshments the opportunity to join in live to this special Carol Service.

Cannon J John a well known and entertaining international speaker began by telling some funny stories and jokes about Christmas before reminding everyone that the message of Christ’s birth and ministry is true. He explained that the wise men brought gold as a gift to recognise the majesty of Jesus to acknowledge he is the king of kings. They brought frankincense to symbolise communication, the gift of being able to communicate with God and they brought myrrh used in burials to proclaim that Jesus had come to die so that all of mankind could be saved.J John shared his response that he gives to people who ask him why he is a Christian, he tells them simply “because it is true.” He invited anyone that wanted to explore this further to receive a copy of his book as a gift, or to contact one of the churches or the Filling Station to find out about the discussion groups and courses on faith that will be held in the New Year.

The music group was made up of talented musicians from many churches, local theatre groups and bands and they skilfully played some traditional and some modern arrangements of well loved carols. Traditional bible readings were sensitively read by members of the local clergy which really brought them to life and there was a real atmosphere of awe and wonder.

Unity, sharing and helping those in need are part of the Christmas message. This special evening brought the whole community together in love and friendship, mince pies were given to passing motorists and people gave generously to “The Space”  the new Riverside Counselling and drop in for the young people of Henley which will be based at Magoos in Hart Street. How wonderful to start the season embracing the true message of Christmas.

The organisers would like to thank Henley restaurants and businesses who provided refreshments including Spirited Wines, Wine Rack, Pizza Express, Rossetti Ristorante, Starbucks, Waitrose, The Arygll, Tesco, Cafe Rouge, Zizzis, Cafe Copia and Loch Fyne.  They would also like to thank Tessa and Guy Ferguson from Multimedia Plus who provided all the audio visual production equipment free of charge and Letterworks, Robert Brain and Studio Stanley for helping with the programme.

Lorna Cummings