Monday, 26 December 2016

A Mayoral Christmas part one

A merry Christmas to everyone. My Christmas card is based on a photo taken at the Formby Nativity Play 2016 by the Formby Bubble and reproduced with their permission. The Nativity reenactment is one of the highlights of the calendar in Formby and hundreds of people attend. The main street is closed to traffic and apart from the human members of the cast we had a donkey, goats, and sheep and an eagle. It was, as always, well done.

There were lost of carols, I read a lesson at Holy Trinity's nine lessons and carols. I am always impressed about how many people say their Christmas truly starts when they hear a boy treble sing the first verse of Once in Royal David's City. Live performances have far mor impact and at Holy Trinity we an excellent service, the music was of a very high standard and the boy chorister was brilliant. The service was well attended but I can't help thinking that there are lots more people in the town who would really have appreciated the event.

More carols came from the Amadeus Chamber Choir at the Ince Blundell Chapel (see picture above). It is a spectacular setting for this annual event. I am constantly surprised how few people know of its existence. The quality of the music matched the surroundings and the concert was sold out.
You can read about my visit to the Southport Mosque where £400 was raised for the Southport Samaritans. It was the first official civic visit and was arranged by my chaplain Rod Garner and the Iman  Soyful Alam. The picture shows us handing over the cheque to Christina Morgan along with Soyful and Rev Jane Morgan.

Christmas Day saw me at the Southport Christmas Shelter. It was good to met all the volunteers who were giving up part of their Christmas to make and serve up food. There was a real variety of volunteers;  Mums and  daughters, married couples whose children had left home a good representation of church folk and people just dropping in with home made goodies.

some of the Christmas Shelter Volunteers

tables all set and ready to go

The Southport Christmas Shelter is a separate charity which opens its doors for five days over Christmas on the Crisis at Christmas model. The volunteers all turn up for training before the event.

The Christmas parade, organised by Birkdale's Adam, brought Christmas presents to the children who use the centre in Ainsdale, Well done Adam.

Then there was the Elderberries Christmas party where I handed out certificates for their tomato and chilli festival

One carol concert that was not what I expected was held at the Temperance Institute and Martin Connard was my host. We were treated to an inter-galactic tour of planets, cultures and faiths to explore the spirit of Christmas. It was a great community event with plenty of audience participation which was enthusiastically entered into by the crowded hall.
 After the concert we came across something else unexpected dating back to 1898 and which had been stored in the Institutes loft, but more of that in the New Year.

I heard lots of school children sing carols. My good friend Antony Hill and his friends organised a coffee morning for the Mayor's charity at  CHET and the pupils of St Mary's village school came and sang for us all.

There was more music of a high standard from the Bach Choir at the Christmas Concert.

Finally on this round up there was the Mayor's Christmas Toy Appeal launched in Southport Town Hall with the support od the local branch of ASDA. 400 children identified by the Children's Trust  will get toys this Christmas thanks to everyone's generosity.

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