The Leyland Group once more held their annual Christmas Carol Concert at St James Parish Church, Leyland. It was a well-attended event this year with members and their wives and partners, along with a good number of friends and family, all taking part.
Father Marc Wolverson opened the service with a few words of welcome and greeted everyone wholeheartedly to his church, exclaiming that he was surprised to see such an array of bright colour. Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison had given permission for the brethren to wear Masonic regalia if they wished to. Most of the members who attended the service wore theirs with pride.
The service was based on nine readings with a carol to end each of the readings. Group Chairman Chris Blackwell started proceedings with the first reading which was followed by the hymn, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing.’ This year’s carol service was slightly different in that the Leyland Lights had been asked to get involved and so it was that the next reading was presented by Miss Elise Monks, daughter of Nigel a member of the group. Elise read a passage from the Book of Genesis chapter 22, which was followed by the classic, ‘The First Nowell.’ Further readings came from; Jeff Lucas, John Anderson, John Lucas, Dave Bishop and Mike Pinckard. Unfortunately, Wayne Haslam and his daughter Lilly weren’t able to attend the event as planned otherwise there would have been a second reading by a Light Blue’s family member. Other classic hymns followed the readings including ‘The Holly and the Ivy,’ ’Away in a Manger’ and ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are.’
During the service a collection was taken which will be added to the St James Church fund. Marc thanked the Leyland Group for their very generous donation and said that it will be put to good use for the upkeep of the church.
Just prior to the final hymn, ‘O Come all Ye Faithful,’ Chris Blackwell stood at the lectern and said a few words of thanks. He included Father Marc in allowing the Leyland Group to make use of St James Church and its facilities and of course to Marc himself for presiding over the service. Other church members were thanked for volunteering to assist in ensuring the service went ahead with special thanks going to Dave Bishop (group secretary) for his organisation of the event.
Chris went on to say that he was more than pleased to see Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon and Deputy Grand Superintendent Paul Renton for the Royal Arch in the congregation, both of whom were taking time out from their busy schedules to join in with the festivities. He mentioned that we were nearing the end of the tercentenary celebrations and he thanked everyone for taking part and attending events across the Province with a special mention of the Leyland Lights cycle event to UGLE. In rounding off his speech, Chris, and on behalf of his wife Jane, wished everyone a wonderful Christmas and hoped that they would enter 2018 in good spirit and have a healthy year ahead.
On closing the service, Marc invited everyone to pop along to the school next door, where mince pies, tea and coffee was served. This everyone did and it made for good fellowship and great conversation. Special thanks go to Julie Wolverson, Sharon Bishop and Janet Cook for making and serving the teas to all.