From the first Sunday in Advent when 98-year old Bill Rae lit the first candle in the Advent wreath through to the celebrations following the Christmas morning service, members of the Old & Abbey joined in a wide range of festive activities.
Early in December the children from our Abbey Playgroup delighted a large audience at the weekly coffee morning with their Carol singing and later that week we were entertained once more when they performed their version of the Nativity story in the Church.
On Saturday 14th December the children of the senior Sunday School and their teachers travelled to Edinburgh to visit the National Museum of Scotland and then go ice skating in Princes Street Gardens. The weather wasn’t exactly kind but everyone had a great time – hot chocolate at Jenners helped us all to dry out!
During the morning service on Sunday 15th, Alastair, our minister presented the finished ‘cake’ that he and the Sunday School children (with ‘some’ help from wife Mary) had made week by week during advent. Alastair had used the ingredients of the cake to explain the meaning of Christmas to the children and everyone was delighted (and amazed!) by the finished master piece.
On the afternoon of Sunday 15th the annual Service of Quiet and Reflection was held. It was well attended and much appreciated by everyone present. We were very grateful to Jenny Lyon and Ian Townsend for their thoughtful, beautiful service and to those who helped with the much appreciated refreshments afterwards.
Saturday 21st December saw the younger Sunday School children join together for an afternoon of games, bouncy castle, lots of party food and a visit from Santa. Everyone had a fun time!
The Sunday School Nativity play was presented to the congregation during the morning service on Sunday 22nd December, the older children reading the script with the younger ones playing the parts of Mary, Joseph, the angels, shepherds and wise ‘people’.
On Christmas Eve a very large congregation gathered for the early service conducted by our minister, Alastair. Sophie Cargill was our soloist and the older Sunday School children assisted by taking up the Advent offering in aid of the work of the Presbyterian Church in Kyrgyztan where Alastair and Mary worked for many years. It was the first service at which we had used our new battery-operated candles purchased with donations from the congregation during our recent ‘Sponsor a Candle’ appeal. They were a great success and added a real ambience to the proceedings without the worries associated with hot dripping wax. Alastair’s very meaningful service ensured that everyone left with a feel for the real meaning of Christmas.
The Christmas Eve Watchnight Service was very ably led by Jenny Lyon with the help of Ian Townsend, Sandra Ferguson and others. Sophie Cargill returned to join with Sarah Forge in singing a duet.
A good number of people returned on Christmas morning to join with Alastair in a celebration of the birth of Christ. Freyja and Ellie brought their scooters, Alastair brought his new golf sweater and everyone enjoyed the relaxed but meaningful time together. Sarah Forge was soloist with sister, Lauren, reading the lesson. After the service everyone adjourned to the Gallery for mulled wine and mince pies.
What a wonderful time we had! Thanks to everyone who made it all happen – to those who decorated the Christmas trees, baked and provided refreshments, arranged trips and parties, sang and acted, led or helped with services – you made it a Christmas to remember! If you would like to see more of our Christmas pictures, have a look at the gallery on the ‘Congregational News’ page.