Christmas services in the refurbished chapel were very special. For some reason, the changes seem to have improved the acoustics so that the singing at the well-attended Carol Service on the evening of 17 December conducted by our minister, Rev Fran Rhys, was truly uplifting, especially with the descant on the last verse of 'O Come All Ye Faithful.' The chapel had been beautifully decorated and looked really splendid.
An even bigger crowd gathered for the Candlelit Communion on Christmas Eve at 8 pm. With just the wall lights and all the candles lit, the atmosphere was magical. Fortunately, the new Communion Table had arrived just in time to be on show; it was dedicated during the service and universally admired. We sang 'While Shepherds Watched' to a local tune. Thomas Jarman, who wrote the tune 'Lyngham' was a tailor in Clipston (just the other side of Market Harborough) and played the organ at the Baptist Chapel there early in the 19th Century. Judging by the volume achieved, the congregation very much enjoyed singing his rumbustious tune. After we had shared the bread and wine together in memory of the Saviour's love, we finished by making our way outside to sing 'Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning' to the village – even though it wasn't quite midnight!
On Christmas morning, again led by our minister, we celebrated the coming of Christ with a 'Christingle Birthday Party for Jesus.' Everybody enjoyed making Christingles to decorate their homes or enjoy pride of place on the Christmas Dinner table.
All in all a wonderful time of sharing the good tidings of comfort and joy:
Jesus is born! Alleluia!