Village Christmas Concert

Paul Introduces Part 2

So tonight, all eyes in Finchampstead turned towards the Memorial Hall, for the annual St James Christmas Concert. As in previous years it was a real mixed bag of items, with various items adapting something more famous to fit either a St James, a Christmas theme or both, a couple of surprises for people in the audience, some unexpected laughs thanks to the Youth Group items, and last but not least, various members of the choir busking and sight-reading their way through some carols and festive items.

As usual the show kicked off with the youngest members of the Church, the Sunday Club, who performed a short nativity sketch based around the shepherds, complete with various of the children dressed up as sheep, and an angel choir singing something that sounded suspiciously like the nursery rhyme London’s Burning…

They weren’t the only nativity sketch. The two parts of the Youth Group contributed a nativity sketch each, and both produced some laughs. In the first sketch, a slightly more traditional nativity, Mary announced that an angel had visited her to tell her that the baby should be called Joseph. The second sketch was a modern dress version with angels running a hotline, however when Joseph found out his fiancee Mary was pregnant, he immediately came out with the line ‘in that case, the weddings off – you can keep the ring!’

Santa Puts in an Appearance

Amongst the traditional ‘must have’ contributions, this year the Tuesday Working Party presented a reworked version of ‘The Night Before Christmas‘ which told of a late night Christmas call out for the Working Party, and included most of them on stage in their pyjamas. This year the Baptism Visitors recreated the Village People singing In the Navy – as Paul said to Rev Richard afterwards, little did he know what he was signing up for when he came to St James!

We also had contributions from some ex-choir members. Olivia sang ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus‘, Claire and Louise sang ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas‘, and Kate sang Carole King’sYou’ve got a Friend‘, dedicated to her Mum.

We also got to see quite how far the Handbell Ringers have come in a year. Last year they gave their first public performance at the concert, with a borrowed set of bells. This year they have their own set of bells, and have done a number of concerts over the Christmas period.

Last but not least we had the contribution from Rev Richard. This year he actually did two items. The first everybody was expecting, and was an adaptation of Jingle Bells, with a join in chorus that went as follows:

Tower bells, tower bells, calling us to prayer,
Oh what fun it is to go,
But there are no seats anywhere!
Tower bells, tower bells, calling us to prayer,
Oh what fun it is to go,
It’s a squash but we don’t care!

Drawing the Raffle

The second item, was a surprise, as Penny, Richard’s wife, hits a rather significant birthday tomorrow, so he proceeded to embarrass her by singing a song that told everyone exactly how old she was!

All in all it was a great night, and everybody seemed to have a great time. As seems to be becoming common for St James events we had more people wanting to come than we could fit in – and that is despite the fact that we hold it in the Memorial Hall because it has a larger capacity than at the Parish Centre. Apparently the upcoming Christingle Services have no tickets left either, and still loads of people wanting to come – whether we could manage to accommodate a fourth running of the service next year I don’t know. Suffice to say Paul said that nobody would be turned away if they turned up without tickets – which is true, the tickets are primarily a way to ensure that we get a pretty even distribution of people between the three services. Having said that, before we get Christmas itself, we have a number of other engagements over the next few days, including the annual St James Choir Carol Singing around the village pubs. If anyone else wants to come along and join us on what is essentially a musical pub crawl, you’ll be most welcome!

There are more pictures from the evening over on Flickr, and in our photo galleries.

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