The annual CAFOD Carol service took place last night on December 19th 2013 at St Teresa’s Upholland. Over 900 people came. This year’s Carol Service was dedicated to all the people in the Philippines who have been affected in some way by Typhoon Haiyan.
The guest speaker was Nick Harrop (CAFOD’s World news officer). Nick spoke movingly about his recent trip to the Philippines to help with the survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. He spoke movingly about some of the people he met while he was there: Kristel, Fr Ivo and Edzil.
Music was provided by St John Rigby Sixth Form College, St John Fisher High School, St Mary & St John’s Catholic Primary School, St Teresa’s Catholic Primary school and St Edmund Arrowsmith High School. We also had singers from St Peter’s High School and Our Lady’s Queen of Peace High School who both joined us for the first time. Hopefully the first of many.
During the service, the students performed 2 new mesmerising pieces composed by James Gresty and arranged by David Wall especially for the Carol service called ‘Give praise to the Lord’ and ‘You Are The Light of The World.’
We were also joined by local Mayor Billy Rotherham and Director of Education Tim Warren who watched the carol service and then met local parishioners, families, young people and school children from the area.
Afterwards there was also a chance to munch on some scrumptious mince pies provided kindly by Catherine Greaves.
A mammoth thank you to everybody who helped make the night such a success including; James Gresty, David Wall, Martin Malone, Angela Bryant, Candice McArdle, Andrea Westhead, Pauline Hurst, Cecilia Rigby, Carl Mugan, Ann Morgan, Pat Boyle, Fr Tony Slingo, Catherine Greaves & Peter and Eileen Holland. Also a gigantic thank you to all the parents, grandparents and family members who came to join us on the night to watch the service.
Please find a copy of the Carol service booklet here:
We would like to finish with a quote from Father Ivo Velasquez:
“It’s really strange to realise that you’re a survivor. It’s terrible, but it’s an experience, something I thank God for. It was an experience not only of disaster, but also of faith. Of how close God was to each of us. My hope for the future is that we rise again, and grow stronger. We survived the biggest storm in the world. We know we must not get into another big storm – despair. But we are only victims up to a certain point. We are survivors first and foremost, and we need to stand up as soon as possible. And we are doing that thanks to our faith and because of the faith or our brothers and sisters around the world. It sustains us most. My message first and foremost to be thankful. Thank you for your prayers. That’s one thing we need. Because we have lost everything except our faith. I think that was the only thing that sustained us in the eye of the storm. It’s a source of strength for us to know that people around the world are praying for us. That in itself is enough to give us strength to move on. We are really very thankful. Thank you. Thank you for everything.”
We wish you all a very merry Christmas-we hope that it brings you lots of blessings!