The "Carols by Candlelight" service was a lovely afternoon of worship on Sunday, December 18.
With dusk falling outside, and the only illumination inside the church being dozens of small tea-lights, everything combined to create a warm and relaxed atmosphere in which the church family came together for some praise and singing at this special time of year.
Organised by Donna McDonald, the whole thing ran like clockwork, and Donna deserves all our thanks for recruiting so many willing volunteers and putting together such an enjoyable Christmas event.
In her introduction, Donna thanked all the participants, the choir, organist Leona Coulter, and Amy Flanagan, who had put up the Christmas tree and made the church look suitably festive.
An early highlight of the afternoon was soloist Catherine Black singing the first verse of Once in Royal David's City, before the congregation joined in at the second verse. Catherine sang beautifully and we look forward to hearing more from this talented young girl in the future.
Others carols to feature in the service were Still the Night, Holy the Night; O Little Town of Bethlehem; See Amid the Winter Snow; While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night; and Joy to the World.
The choir performed two special pieces - Not That Far From Bethlehem and When a Child is Born, which was particularly well arranged.
All the readings were delivered loud and clear, with the Bible lessons read by Louise Simpson, Elma Fairley-Matthew, Norma Shields, Hazel Russell and Hannah Webb, while poems were read by Zara Greenfield (The Bells Across the Snow) and Jordan Wilson (Cradled in a Manger Meanly).
It was a pleasure to have Alister Bell in the congregation, who was visiting along with his mother, and he brought proceedings to a close with the Benediction.
A retiring collection was held in aid of Marie Curie.
Thereafter, the congregation moved to the Ervine Hall for some refreshments and fellowship.