‘Well, it was probably chaos 2000 years ago as well!’ someone kindly suggested at the beginning of the Carols in the Barn this evening….so it all felt very authentic. There is something incredibly special about putting on a service in a barn on a farm with live sheep (thank you so much Sarah Bullen and thank you to Leon Rosewell for the bales), hordes of people singing carols, and drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies. ‘Fun’ does not even begin to describe it!
It is always a huge thing to put this event on the day after the Easton Pantomime comes to an end – and I am so grateful to the many stars of the Panto who were willing to play an additional role when they are already exhausted from the hilarious Panto – not to mention the sound and lighting experts in the form of Chris Ellis and Robert Hall who manfully moved all the equipment from the Easton Village Hall to the Stents Barn in time for this afternoon’s event.
There were probably about 150 of us in the barn, it was…intimate shall we say…with the children crowded at the front of the stage, made by tractor trailer with the slightly older members of our community sitting in a row of chairs behind and then everyone else standing. Sonia Cragg brilliantly directed the cast with a short rehearsal minutes to spare before we started David Truslove played the electric piano (which does have a bit of a life of its own) for the carols and interspersed between the carols were readings of the Christmas Story – thank you to our readers Oliver Denniss, Ellie Rember, Iain Macleod and Robert Hall.
We had a delightful Mary and Joseph in the shape of Jessica Duke and George Turner, Claudia Cox making a striking angel Gabriel, three shepherds this year: Rob Starr, Tim Clapp and Quentin James,
three very wise men: Maximilian Terhalle, Dominic Claridge and Wojtek Rakowicz
and an emergency stand in Inn Keeper – Gerry Stacey. Judith Mezger and Charlotte Appleby and their families provided the mince pies (280 were eaten) and the mulled wine – totally delicious and perfect for the evening. And where would we have been without the fluorescent yellow clad Patrick Appleby and David Poole organising the parking!
Thank you so much Robert Stent for hosting us at Avington Park Farm this evening – just totally brilliant.
Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this amazing Valley Event.
Revd Alex Pease