It was both poignant and something of a relief to be able to hold both the Advent and Christmas Carol Services this year and to witness a packed Chapel once again.
These two occasions are undoubtedly a real jewel in the crown of the College calendar, as our community comes together to celebrate anew the coming of God’s Kingdom and the Nativity of Jesus.
One would have to look a long way to find greater inspiration than the College Chapel, resplendent in a mass of seasonal decorations and candles, with added enrichment provided through the stunning music-making from the Chapel, Chamber and Compline Choirs. Junior Singers also deserve a mention for their own sincere contribution.
The Chapel Choir is unquestionably on the crest of a wave. It is a big choir, but despite its size (and under the expert direction of Director of Chapel Music, Mr Meehan-Staines, and with the superb accompaniment of College Organist Mr Butterfield) nothing is lost in terms of refinement, style or finesse.
The balance is excellent, timing and attention to detail is paramount, the choice of repertoire offers a nice blend of the traditional and the less well known (Novo profusi gaudio by Matthew Martin in the Advent Carols was a perfect illustration of the latter and an absolute gem) and the quality of the soloists is the crowning glory. In that respect particular praise to Once in Royal soloists Isabella, Immy, Ottilie and Camilla, alongside Ed for his classy and heartfelt rendition of Three Kings.
With our wonderful Senior Chaplain The Reverend Novis leading the way, and with his thought-provoking homily further enhanced by our many readers and trumpet descants, these two occasions were both joyous and utterly uplifting. Precious experiences indeed in these challenging times.