Carols by candlelight

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By Mark Davey

Campbeltown’s newest minister preached to a full house at the Free Church’s Carols by Candlight service.

Last Sunday Reverend Dr Rodger Crooks and his parishoners were joined by representatives from other Kintyre churches and keen carol singers.

At the door they were greeted with mugs of fruit punch, before sitting at tables for up to eight. Later the evening ended with sandwiches, mince pies and tea.

Rousing classic: O Come All Ye Faithfull set the tone for the evening with one table towards the back of the church providing a beautiful harmony. A number of carol singers may have been inspired by listening to the Ensemble Choirs, at Campbeltown Town Hall, in the afternoon.

The second  carol was a hymn composed by a Victorian Mull Gaelic poet, Mary MacDonald, translated into English as Child in a Manger, and sung to a tune known as Bunessan after her birthplace.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing and perennial classic Away in a Manger were also included in the repertoire, although Dr Crooks admitted his favourite festive song is: Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen.

Dr Crooks’ sermon tried to set the Bethlehem innkeeper’s record straight as he debated whether the man was a goodie or baddie of the Christmas story.

The offering was for Women for Mission (WfM) which provides practical support for the Free Church’s mission at home and abroad.

In particular WfM has four current strands: land for a church in Nepal, teacher’s accommodation in Uganda, uutreach in Marseille and a fund to support a volunteer.

The harmonious singers at the back of the church. 25_c51carolsbycandlelight01