The real start to Christmas in the Itchen Valley is the Crib Service at St Mary’s Easton. It was just amazing to see so many people in St Mary’s – 340 people including about 80 children we worked out – absolutely packed out. The church was l00king amazing with some fantastic flower arrangements suspended in mid air to give the maximum space for seating – but even so many had to stand. Some great singing and descants from Valley and beyond sopranos.
Candle lit throughout most of the service – including a special request for the lights to remain off for Away in a Manger – just totally beautiful in a beautiful church.
A great narrative of the Christmas story read by Gerry Stacey and wonderful readings by Joseph Rember and Jessica Duke and Jessica Cragg.
At each turn of the story further crib characters were brought up by the children to fill the nativity scene. These are incredibly fragile figures for this sort of exercise – last year Jesus’ head fell off and this year it was the turn of Caspar one of the wise men. Just totally wonderful.
We spilled out of the church to a cold start lit night.
What a great start to Christmas. Thank you to all those at Easton who helped to organise the service and prepare and clean the church.
Revd Alex Pease