All Hallows’ Church was filled to capacity on Thursday 15th December for a service of carols and readings, as Freemen of the Guild of Entrepreneurs prepared for Christmas and the festive holidays.
The Officers and Court, having met for the first time under the direction of the new Master Kate Jolly earlier that day, took their seats in the front pews of the Church and were in fine voice for a succession of Christmas carols and hymns. As in previous years, the Chapel Choir of St Dunstan’s College led the singing, and delighted the congregation with festive anthems and carol arrangements. Their rendition of John Gardner’s tricky arrangement of ‘Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” was crisp and invigorating, and their capable performance of Benjamin Brittan’s “Hymn to the Virgin” lent an ethereal and reflective dimension to the service.
Familiar biblical passages spoke of anticipation and renewal, and the Middle Warden was first to his feet (deputising for the Master, whose voice is recovering from the flu) to read from Eliajh’s prophecy of the birth of the Messiah.
The Guild’s Chaplain, Freeman the Reverend Bertrand Olivier, delivered an uplifting homily, and the Guild gave generously to the All Hallows’ charitable appeals.
The Freemen and guests then repaired to All Hallows’ Vicarage for a bountiful festive reception. Winter cocktails, and a seemingly endless succession of canapes, fortified and sustained a long evening of conversation and cheer.
The Clerk warmly thanked the Chaplain (for such generous hospitality), Court Assistant Fiona Taylor (for whom this was the last social event under her stewardship as Chair of Events & Fellowship), and the caterer Chocolate-Strawberry.com (for whom this was their first Guild event).