Extra seating was needed at St Bartholomew’s Church for the Christingle Service. Attendance at the parish church on Christmas Eve to the early evening service, which is always popular with families, exceeded all expectations. As all of the church pews became occupied, churchwardens brought extra chairs in and created another seating area for those left standing, in the left wing of the church. After a few minor problems with the loud speaker system, which was quickly remedied, everyone was able to take part and hear the Reverend Stuart Huntley deliver his Christmas message.
The crib was blessed, the candle in the advent wreath lit and children joined in singing carols, particularly the one that began ‘light up a candle and hold out the globe’ which many youngsters had learnt by heart during assembly and choir practice at local schools. Two hundred Christingle oranges were given out to the children, representing the world with the candle signifying the light of the world, the red ribbon blood shed through love and the four cocktail sticks of sweets linking to creation and the four seasons of the year. The oranges were donated for the Christingle service by Waitrose in Crewkerne.
A retiring collection was made for the Children’s Society. The national charity runs local projects and helps children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable and have nowhere left to turn to. As the local children dropped coins onto the silver salver, they were each given a cardboard money box in the shape of a candle, to take home with them and carry on collecting their small change in the days ahead, as they celebrated the festive holidays with their families and friends. Our featured photo was taken by Jeff Hutson at the Christingle service on Christmas Eve.