Folk carol service delights community
Morris dancers and a youth folk group contribute to the well-received service at Wade Street Church in Lichfield
A local Morris dance side, Three Spires Morris (which includes in its numbers several members of the church), and youth folk group Wildfire Folk, both rehearse in the church - and both were invited to participate and bring their lively take on traditional carols to the annual service.
The Morris dancers performed a dance specially written to accompany Graham Kendrick’s Christmas song O Come and join the dance, while Wildfire Folk accompanied some new arrangements of two carols, as well as contributing some instrumental items. A member of the church, Andy Rushton, who sings in local clubs, sang a couple of his songs and the congregation joined in singing The Duke of York Carol, a song recently written for a local pub.
Also woven into the service was a special performance one of the Lichfield Mystery Plays, The Nativity, adapted for the occasion by local writer Sally Hayter. The play was performed by members of the congregation and featured a live baby Jesus, five week old Toby Narain. Toby is the son of the church’s former youth worker and the play’s Virgin Mary Bryony Narain.
The church was full for the occasion, mainly with people from the local community who wouldn’t normally come into a church service. As they enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies after the service, there were many positive comments and all had had the opportunity to hear the gospel message at the heart of the Christmas story.
Ian Hayter, minister of the church, said, 'This is a wonderful chance to share something of the love of God with our community using the shared language of music.'
In the summer the church also puts on a jazz service as part of the Lichfield Jazz & Blues Festival, which draws in similar numbers of people beyond the church's congregation.