Christmas Eve was of course the the last day of the Living Advent Calendar and in keeping with the tradition, the last door was St Mary’s Church’s in Hart Street with the church’s choir being the performers. Like previous years, a good crowd turned out and the evening was another great finale to this superb Henley community and charity event.
The choir opened the singing with the first verse of Once in Royal David City before the audience was invited to join in. The choir then led the singing of O Little Town of Bethlehem, Unto Us is Born a King, The First Noel, O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. The choir also sang two choirs beautifully on their own – Ding Dong Merrily on High and Away in the Manager.
Reverend Jeremy Tayler who was hosting the LAC for the first time said, “I was told beforehand that Father Martyn normally reads a poem at this event but I’ve just learnt five minutes ago that it was a funny poem. I’m afraid the poem I’m about to read about the Advent Calendar is not funny. You’ll have to wait until next year for a funny one!”
Councillor David Eggleton dressed up as Father Christmas handed out glow sticks to the children in the crowd and provided the raffle prizes for the last evening which was raising money for the Mayor’s charities; Henley Music School, Gillotts School and Bluebells (a dementia support group).
Living Advent Calendar Organiser Richard Rodway said, “Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the Henley Living Advent Calendar 2018 happen. The event simply isn’t what it is without the efforts of so many, and in particular the spirited and enthusiastic people of Henley who come out to see us night after night.
Whilst we did not quite eclipse 2017’s record level of donations to the good causes supported, we have raised over £5,600 for the 26 causes supported this year, which is a fantastic achievement, and a huge thanks to everyone for their generosity.
But ultimately we had a hugely enjoyable time putting on what we hope everyone will agree was a hugely enjoyable event, bringing together various parts of the fabulous Henley community over the festive period, and it is always great to catch up with some great people who we often only catch up with at this time of year, which is one of the things that of course makes Christmas and Christmas spirit so special.”