Sunday 21st December 2014. Kettering Corps Carol Services.
The usual marathon of three Carol Services took place today. Guided through by Major Paul Doust the celebrations included the usual popular Carols accompanied by the Senior Band, looking very festive in their red tunics. The Citadel was almost full for the first and second service but the third service was slightly quieter. The congregation was enchanted by the nativity item, the young people were absolute stars as always. We were reminded of the Christmas story in a different production to normal, and using all the members of the Young Peoples Corps. They did a great job, with special lighting and new costumes. They had obviously been practicing for this and did not disappoint. The Singing Company sang really well today, their number having increased significantly over recent weeks. A line in one of the songs they sang talked about a ‘Heavenly’ sound and they did sound heavenly. Even the new members (the little ones on the front row) seemed to be unaffected by the large congregation, singing their little hearts out and actually looking like they were enjoying it. The YP Band played well, they have a bright future ahead in 2015 with the ‘learners band members’ waiting eagerly to ‘graduate’. Different members of the Corps congregation brought the Bible Readings during each service. During the 2.30pm service Major Trevor Howe gave his thoughts on this Festive Season whilst in the 4.30pm service it was Lt. Col Geoff Blurton and finally Major Paul Doust in the 6.30pm service. The Songsters sang about the “Great, Great Joy” Jesus brought to this world as a tiny baby boy. The Senior Band played “Carol of the Bells’ and finished each service off with the old favorite “Jingle Bells” which always sends the congregation off in the Christmas mood. This year the collections on the day totaled over £2000 and are to be divided between a local Cancer charity and the Kettering Salvation Army Christmas Parcel Appeal. This year the Corps provided food parcels and presents for 304 children and 174 adults, spending approximately £2500 a large increase on last year (85% more adults and 57% more children than in 2013).
Our thanks to everyone who took part today and to everyone who attended the Carol Services, we trust that it will have reminded us all, in the midst of the commercialization of Christmas, that in people’s hearts the world over Christ is re-born.