Nine Lessons and Carols at St Nicolas

Happy fourth advent, my friends. — Rudolf Schenker

Jesus taught us to serve, not be served. A message we should all heed. — Father Andrew

I have been to more carol concerts in the last week than I had up until then in a lifetime: An African Christmas Concert, Boiler Room Carols, a children’s carol concert, and that is not counting the awful carol singing at Creative Arts @ Costa at the beginning of December

An African Christmas
Guildford Boiler Room Christmas Carols
Children’s Carol Concert at St Mark’s

This evening I was at Nine Lessons and Carols at St Nicolas in Guildford, choir, Father Andrew resplendent in full regalia, lessons read by various members of the local community. We learnt the local St Nicolas School had introduced ‘value-based learning’ whatever that meant and a group of children sang their value song which apparently they sing every morning. Followed by mulled wine and mince pies and Fair trade goods for sale.

Value Song

Whenever you’re down, I’ll be there.
Whenever you’re sad, I’ll dry your tears.
Wherever you are, you can count on me.
I’ll carry your burden when it’s heavy.
Together we’ll share the load.
This is how it’s always meant to be.

We open up our world
and we grew from many friends.
We open up our hearts,
May this journey never end.
We found a place where we belong,
We can see a brand new day,
Embracing life together is the way.

Whenever you smile, I’ll join you.
Whenever you laugh, I’ll share your joy.
I’ll be there when you spread your wings and fly.
Whatever you do, I’ll be there cheering.
When you cross the finish line,
You can count on me to be nearby.

We open up our world
and we grew from many friends.
We open up our hearts,
May this journey never end.
We found a place where we belong,
We can see a brand new day,
Embracing life together is the way.

Sung with great enthusiasm by the children.

Give me a child until he is seven said the Jesuits and we have him for life.

The readings were from the King James Bible which this year has celebrated 400 years. Archbishop George Abbot, one of the contributors to the King James was a Guildford man, baptised at St Nicolas.

I was not quite sure why I was there. It was a lovely sunny day when I got up at midday, earlier frost on the ground, spiked the grass. I had intended to make the effort and prepare a Sunday roast dinner, but instead off to Guildford. By the time I set off, clouds had rolled in.

I lit candles for my lovely but sadly mad friend Sian, Paulo Coelho for writing Aleph and Canon Andrew White in Baghdad.

I chatted to a very pleasant Fiona, one of the choristers, and thanked her for the singing. I learnt she had read and liked Paulo Coelho. I told her of his latest book Aleph, of which she was not aware (Waterstone’s have a lot to answer for). I invited her to come along to Keystone Spirit at the Keystone Pub and Creative Arts @ Costa (first Tuesday of the month). I also said I would let her have a DVD of a talk Canon Andrew White gave a few weeks ago.

Curious ‘value-based learning’, I managed to catch the headmistress of St Nicolas. Apparently introduced at a school where the kids beat the hell out of each. They learn respect, to look out for each other, to respect the environment. I suggested she took the kids on an outing to St Paul’s in-the-Camp.

Anything that teaches children not to be greedy bankers or tax dodging spongers or corrupt politicians, to contribute to society not take, has to be welcomed.

I told her how impressed I was by the children at St Mark’s School and suggested she attend one of their concerts and then try something similar.

Children’s Carol Concert at St Mark’s

I thanked Father Andrew for the service.

St Nicolas is at the bottom of the High Street just over the bridge.

4pm Christmas Eve Christingle Service for the Children at St Nicolas Guildford.

8pm Wednesday 21 December 2011. Canon Andrew White at Pioneer Church in Leatherhead.

11-30pm Christmas Eve midnight mass at St Nicolas Guildford.

evening Tuesday 3 January 2012. Creative Arts @ Costa, Swan Lane, Guildford.

7-30pm Tuesday 3 January 2012. Canon Andrew White at The Vineyard Cente, Church House, Union Road, Farnham.

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3 Responses to “Nine Lessons and Carols at St Nicolas”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I though Jesus main message was about love …. but that is a matter of perception I guess 😉

    Have a blessed day ❤

  2. keithpp Says:

    Sunday evening I received from Canon Andrew White about Sunday Service at St George’s in Baghdad:

    We had so many hundreds and hundreds of people unable to get into Church today there just was not room in the church or overflow room. We are still waiting to get more chairs for our big overflow room and just need the funds. Today was have given out so many Samaritans purse boxes. The really amazing thing was the number of Angels with us. All the children were so excited with the Christmas Angels. They only come out as circles of light in the pictures I will send the pictures later in the week.

    It can not be many churches that are full to overflowing, or have angels in their midst.

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