As usual, Christmas was a very busy but rewarding time at Trinity. Beginning at the end of November with a Christmas Coffee Morning, where several super Christmas hampers were raffled off whilst warm fellowship took place amongst both regular worshippers and other visitors.
Over the next couple of weeks many volunteers helped to decorate the church beautifully with lights, posters, advent candles, flowers, foliage and a display of several Christmas trees of varying styles, provided by many of the groups who meet at Trinity, in addition to the main tree.
The children from the playgroup performed their annual nativity play to an audience of admiring family and friends. In addition to the innkeeper, Mary (who was most reluctant to receive the baby Jesus!) and Joseph, there was the usual array of very cute angels, shepherds, kings and sheep who performed their parts very well and gave a lusty rendition of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ as well as other songs.
The annual Carols and Mince Pies event drew in an audience of around 200, who were thoroughly entertained by polished performances of songs and readings by the ‘Singing Futures’ children’s choir and Trinity Singers and who made the most of the opportunities to join in singing carols too. Afterwards mince pies, teas, coffees and fellowship were enjoyed by both the audience and performers.
A few days later, 180 Christingles were prepared by a happy band of volunteers operating a very efficient ‘production line’, assembling oranges, ribbons, candles and sweets. At the same time a new venture was successfully trialled – a family Christmas Craft Session. Several families gathered to create an array of decorations to put on a frieze, which later adorned the pulpit, and on a tree to represent the Crafty Club in the line of trees from the various groups that meet at Trinity. Once again there was a lovely mix of Trinity regulars and people we don’t often see and some newcomers.
On Christmas Eve, the church was packed with a congregation ranging in ages from young babies to those in their 90s for the popular Christingle service, which included an impromptu dramatisation of the Nativity story, with no shortage of volunteers from the children in the congregation to take on the various roles! The service culminated with the lighting of and distributing of the Christingles to the congregation, who then created an atmospheric circle of light around the inside of the otherwise dark church, whilst quietly humming ‘Silent Night’. A joyous occasion.
Later on Christmas Eve, a slighter smaller congregation welcomed in Christmas Day in another very atmospheric candlelit service of readings and carols led by Rev. C Kennell.
Whilst gaining much ourselves over the course of the various Christmas services and events, we tried to think of others too. Many names and messages were written on stars hung on a ‘Memory Tree’ to remember loved ones far away or no longer alive who would be especially missed over the festive period and over £600 of donations were made by the visitors to the various services and events into 4 Christmas charity stockings in aid of Methodist Homes for the Aged, Lowestoft Shopmobility, Bliss Nurses (who work with the families of babies born too soon or sick) and the refugee crisis. Used stamps from Christmas cards and letters were also collected to raise funds for the Leprosy Mission.