Despite the snowy conditions, Westminster Cathedral was once again packed with students, staff, parents, grandparents, governors, alumnae and guests as the Woldingham community came together for the annual carol service.
After a warm welcome from Headmistress, Mrs Alex Hutchinson, Amaris beautifully sang William Blake’s poem The Lamb, set to music by Sir John Tavener. The service then continued with a reading, before the first, solo, verse of Once in Royal David’s City rang through the cathedral. Choir members made their way up the nave carrying candles before the Cathedral blazed into light as the full congregation joined in with the third verse.
The Opening Prayer was read by Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain and Priest-in-Residence, and further readings and carols, led by Woldingham’s massed choirs and the choir of St Francis’ Catholic Primary School, made this a wonderful celebration of Christmas.
The retiring collection was for this year’s Whole School 175 Charity, the Laini Saba School. Located in the largest slum in Kibera, just outside Nairobi, Kenya, each year this Sacred Heart supported school takes in up to 500 children, many of whom are orphans. Woldingham is raising funds for the development of a much needed library and learning resource building.
Many of the congregation then moved on to the reception at the nearby Grosvenor Hotel, where much catching up was done over mulled wine and mince pies. A delicious chocolate cake was also enjoyed in celebration of Woldingham’s 175th anniversary – the second one in just four days!