Lantern parade and carol service brings community together

The carol service at Christ Church Pennington following the lantern parade
The carol service at Christ Church Pennington following the lantern parade

There was plenty of Christmas spirit on show as residents came together for a parade lit by twinkling lantern lights and a carol service.

Community Carol Praise was organised by Christ Church Pennington and the Friends of Pennington Hall Park (FoPHP).

I am delighted to say that, thanks to the magnificent efforts of all concerned, the result was a great success.

The Reverend Alan Saunders

Volunteers from the park group led a lantern-making workshop and participants then took their creations to the church, where they were greeted by the sweet sound of Tyldesley Brass Band and refreshments.

The church then held its carol service with readings, songs led by Pennington CE Primary School pupils and new vicar Alan Saunders showing off his trumpet skills with a fanfare introducing Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Rev Saunders said: “Each year the church has organised an annual carol praise event, but having only just arrived as vicar a few weeks ago I wondered if I’d have the time to organise it in my first year here at Christ Church.

“Then I met a local family in the street who told how much they loved coming to the event so I thought I should go ahead with it after all.

“I contacted Trisha Taylor at FoPHP and we agreed to combine a lantern parade with carol praise and rename the event.

“I am delighted to say that, thanks to the magnificent efforts of all concerned, the result was a great success.”

More than 260 people came to the event and almost £400 was raised to be shared between homeless project the Atherton and Leigh Shelter for HoPe and Christian charity Tearfund’s emergency appeal for Syria.