Songs of Praise: carols in a pub…

I know I know, it’s a bit early for all this carol singing, but it is the second Sunday in Advent…

Sorry folks, but I think this video clip will only work in the UK, as it uses the BBC i-player, but I loved this episode tonight. The long running BBC songs of praise programme is a bit of a joke over here- often ultra traditional and a miss-match of the vaguely religious with secular awfulness.

But it often make me cry.

Because in the middle of all the mush, there will often be a story full of grace, or a hymn that takes me back to childhood, or a moment of delicate beauty.

Tonight features Kate Rusby, one of my favourite singers- who could sing the words of a phone book and still be worth listening to. She describes a tradition of singing carols in pubs from the end of November up to Christmas, in the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire area of the UK- not far from where I grew up.

It is where Michaela learnt music by playing cornet in brass bands that grew out of the mining communities now long gone.

So if you are not moved by choirs and organs, skip this clip forward to around 22 mins into the show (but the hymn before is lovely too…)

It is worth it.

Join us for a Christian Aid BIG SING!

As part of our Advent Festival event next weekend (12th and 13th December) you are invited to participate in a BIG sing, at 2PM on both Saturday and Sunday.

Come along and sing! If you have an instrument and want to play along- send me a line, as it would be great to have a few more instruments too.

This is the blurb from the Christian Aid website


From 11 – 13 December, people from all across the UK will be singing for Christian Aid to raise more than £100,000 for people living in poverty around the world.Whether you are used to singing along to the radio at home, raising the roof with massed choirs, or joining in old favourites at the school concert, we can show you how to make your voice count in the fight against poverty.

If you can’t make it, then there is another very important way that you may be able to help- and that is by giving money!

You can make a credit card donation to the Aoradh page on the Christian Aid website here.

I know it is Christmas, a high spend time of year, and there are lots of other charities after your money, but I would be very grateful for any support you can give to this important cause.

Christian Aid have a particular appeal to support the people of Palestine. Grinding poverty, lack of running water, refugee camps where despair is the only available currency. Christian Aid are working to bring hope.

As part of our BIG SING, I re-wrote a famous carol-

O Broken town of Bethlehem

Be interesting to see if we manage to carry it off…