Once again the opportunity comes around for me to photograph my young grandchildren as they perform in the Cambridge University Church of Great St. Mary’s. As usual the church was packed, and despite it being December it was extremely warm within. The girls had been dropped off earlier whilst we parked the car, and this year there was no queuing to get in.
We had decided to sit up in the gallery, but ironically this did not really provide the viewpoint we had anticipated, but it did at least offer me the chance to move around.
The service started with organ music followed by a hymn, with two verses sung by the Madrigal Singers, followed by the Bidding Prayer from the Reverend Bruce Waldron. After another hymn sung by soloist Sam Fitzgerald and the Madrigal Singers again, the first lesson was from Genesis Chapter iii read by a governor of the school, Mrs Polly Stanton. The Chamber Choir then sang, followed by another lesson, this time from Year 7 student, El Mayo, from Isaiah ix, then we all sang The First Nowell, followed in its turn by a lesson from St Luke i read by parent, Mrs Kate Brett. There were further songs from the Choir and Madrigal singers, who also sang verse 2 of O Little Town of Bethlehem, this time followed by a lesson from Luke ii read by staff member, Miss Anita Langdale.
The Recorder Group played In Dulci Jubilo with passion, but this piece is so powerful, I felt the Organ should have been chosen, and as if in agreement, soon after it came in with great gusto for a later hymn introduction!, but before that came another lesson from Luke ii from Year 9 student, Birte Mattes, followed by the Junior Choir singing Diamond Bright.
Then followed It Came upon the Midnight Clear and more from the Madrigal Singers, and a lesson from St Matthew i read by Year 11 student Januree Harris Hercules, and Chamber Choir singing The Lamb, and God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen and a lesson read by the Assistant principal, Mr Peter Wallace,. from St. John i. The rousing penultimate hymn: Oh Come, All Ye Faithful allowed me to sing one of my favourite carols, prior to Rev. Bruce giving us a prayer and Blessing leading on to the Madrigal Singers with A Clare Benediction from John Rutter.
The final hymn was Hark the Herald Angels Sing followed by applause from the whole congregation in gratitude for a splendid and entertaining evening. The organ played us all out as we crowded every exit waiting for all our young charges.