On Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 December, I had the privilege of leading our two Advent Carol Services in Witney for the first time. After organ music played by Lukas Russell and Dr Winkley (who also accompanied all the carols and played again after the Service), the Choir movingly sang Adam lay ybounden as an Introit in the North Transept and we then all processed in to the carol Once in Royal David’s City, which began with a beautiful solo.
Interspersed between seven congregational hymns and carols and three other inspiring choir items (The Holly and the Ivy, A Great and Mighty Wonder, and O holy night), nine Readers from the four Houses reminded us all on each day of the Christmas Story as it is unfolded in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The emphasis was on Advent - the four weeks leading up to Christmas - and I encouraged the congregation, both in my Prayers and Sermon, to view Christmas from this perspective.
It was wonderful to see half the School assembled for each Service and it was a real privilege for me as Chaplain to welcome so many people on behalf of the Headmaster and the School on each occasion! We would like to thank the Revd Toby Wright and the Staff of St Mary’s Witney for allowing us to use their beautiful medieval church building. These were two very memorable occasions.
The Revd Ian Howard, School Chaplain