Like any good garage there are levels of service available from most churches this Christmas.
If you have low mileage recent model children in your family, you need the light service with obligatory candle-in-an-orange-with-sweeties for them to dismantle during the final hymn while attempting not to stab each other in the eye with the discarded cocktail sticks. The smell of burning candle and orange juice really puts the tingle in “Christingle”.
Those of us with a few miles on the clock just need an annual service of the singing and listening kind. Turn up, do a few carols, go home safe in the knowledge that Christmas is once again upon us.
Then there’s the Gold standard. The big event. This year ours will be at 5pm and 7pm on December 21st at Aldridge Parish Church. We don’t do the high church “bells and smells” but my goodness we do traditional carolling. The sort of thing which prompts rounds of three (festive) cheers.
And this year I’m organising the band/orchestra/skiffle group to provide the tunes. Some of my key players are away (on loan, to change from an automotive to a sporting metaphor) and I need musicians. I want musicians. The record is 16 and I want to smash it.
If you’re connected to the church in any way, through the local schools, family, friends or your social circle and you play a brass or woodwind instrument, get in touch. I don’t have many string players but I’m happy to talk to you. If you have your own timpanis we should grab a coffee and have a chat.
This is participation over perfection. If we have enough players in the top register I’ll even play tuba myself. That alone should lower the average talent in the room.
You don’t need to be particularly holy or a regular churchgoer to join in, just have some kind of link to the church community. I’m only saying that to prevent myself being swamped with hundreds of budding trumpet players from local schools. Grade 3 standard should be enough to see off most of the music I’m writing out, and we’ll take it fairly easy on the day to make sure everyone has fun and enjoys themselves.
…and if you fancy singing over playing you can join the choir. Let me know if you want to. Or if you would prefer amateur singing, there are now four dates for this year’s Ales Beers and Carols. Pick your pub and join the joyful noise.