A group of twenty one met to sing around the village - once again the weather was dry and not too cold. A number of us came dressed festively and we raised £425 for Brain Tumour Society and Mary Ann Hospice. Many thanks to all who sang and all who answered their doors and welcomed us with donations.
Rev Derek Shaw lead our annual candlelit carol service to a very full chapel. The usual mix of carols and readings was added to with the children acting out a Nativity scene and the choir singing from John Rutter and the Twelve Days of Christmas. The later was even explained how it relates to some of the Christian elements it refers to. Four calling birds relating to the four Gospels for instance. Baby Lyla stole the show in her part as the Angel Gabriel in the nativity scene and then all joined singing Away in a Manger. After the service there was a superb spread of cakes and mince pies - we were looked after well by the ladies and their team.
Twenty five hardy souls braved the cold but fortunately dry evening to come and sing their hearts out raising money for Action for Children and St. Basils Homeless Centre in Birmingham. The group tackled a new area down Station Road at the Station Stores and Water works end of the village. A number of households were pleasantly surprised to have possibly for the first time carol singers on their door and we all ended up in a lovely garden chalet complete with a coal fire which warmed us all up. Afterwards the choir retired to the Railway Inn to further swell the collection tins. A total of £400 has been raised which will be split between our charities for this year; Action for Children and St Basils homeless centre in Birmingham
Despite the wet weather (it could have been a lot worse like this afternoon!) a hardy bunch of all ages met at the Chapel to go around the village to sing carols. We were raising money tonight for EmbraceME (a charity which works in deprived areas mainly in the Middle East.) The carol singers ended their village tour by singing in the Railway. Many thanks to all those who sang as well as all our supporters. We raised a grand total of £254 for EmbraceME
Another successful evening despite the fact that the rain eventually came down quite hard. We were raising money this year for Beeline Community Transport, operating in North Warwickshire, who provide transport for disabled or the elderly to attend appointments at hospitals or clinics which they would not otherwise be able to get to. A good number of singers turned out to tour the streets and serenade the villagers with a variety of traditional carols. We even ventured into both the Swan Public House and retired to "The Railway to finish with a little concert. It was lovely to be met with warm mince pies and wine at a few houses which made the cold elements seem more bearable. A total of £208 was raised to help Beeline in their work. A further visit by the Choir to "The Dog" raised separately £162 which was sent to Acacia in Sutton Coldfield - a group which supports pre and post natal depression.
Once again it was difficult to get a seat as the church was packed for our annual candlelit service. The service started with the now regular fire safety talk but then followed the a number of traditional carols and lessons interspersed with some more modern poems and readings. The highlight for many was the small children acting out a the innkeeper turning away Mary and Joseph whilst the animals sat around the manger.
A busy evening with a good crowd out and about raising £215 for the Birmingham Christmas Shelter. Young and old sang lustily around the village and later retired to the Chapel for soup and a roll - by then to warm up after a cold and later little wet evening. Thanks to all those who sang and all those who listened and gave so generously. After the carol service the choir went up to "The Dog Inn" and sang to raise a further £97 which after some further donations means we will be sending off a total of £360 to the Birmingham Christmas Shelter.
Our traditional candlelit carol service was once again full to capacity as the village gathered to celebrate the start of Christmas in style. Our service is always candlelit completely with individual candles issued to all service goers. The service was a mix of traditional carols intermixed with short drama and scripture readings as well as the choir leading the singing and having their own solo spot. The highlight for many is the childrens participation in the service. This year the small ones met at the front to celebrate the angels calling the shepherds to worship at the manger and a second drama featured the traditional baby which always seems to be provided for our annual event. Once again this year not one but two babies made the grade so the honours were split between them. Baby James Michael and her appropiately named Mother Mary played baby Jesus. Baby Ruby Elizabeth and her Mother Helen played John the Baptist and only just made the service in time, being born just under four days earlier, so was her first real outing.
With the weather being kind - once again it was not raining even if it was rather cold - a large group of us ranging from 3 years old up sang our way around the village calling on doors. A warm up in the Swan pub at the end of the evening was a welcome warming time. We have so far raised £184.60 for UHCW and raised a further £95.41 when the choir sang in Ankerside Shopping Centre in Tamworth last Saturday. This stands for University Hospital, Coventry and Warwick, otherwise known as Walsgrave Hospital. The charity supports all wards and services in Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby. They fund new equipment and facilities. Their most recent appeal was for ante-natal, neo-natal and post natal baby care. This included plans for family rooms, bereavement counselling, a birthing pool and scanning rooms.
Some pictures here of the hardy bunch which traversed the village singing on the Tuesday night as well as video below of the choir in action at the Dog Inn. They raised a further £85.99 singing in the pub making a grand total of £366 for UHCW.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.