In the 1980s the small town of Avenel had a strong ecumenical movement among the three churches — St Paul’s Anglican, St Mary’s Catholic and Avenel Uniting church — and they formed a tradition of conducting an Advent Carols evening.
This year, the carols were held in the newly renovated Avenel memorial hall, and the evening was devoted to evergreen Christmas carols and Bible readings pertinent to the meaning of Christmas.
The lessons on Sunday night were Bible based from St Luke’s Gospel and spoke about the coming and birth of Jesus Christ.
The evergreen carols blended with the readings to tell the Christmas story and what it still means, 2000 years later.
The carols have been attended by talented musicians, organists and singers for many years, and they all came to the fore on Sunday as they spread Christmas spirit at their annual singalong.
Deb Roper led the carols evening’s program with Peter Smith, Helen Easton and Bev Ratten making up the lead singing foursome.
The Avenel and District Singers, led by Lyn Bradbury, performed two Australian carols and the 15th Century Coventry carol.
Cellist Winifred Peart delighted the audience with her Christmas medley.
But the ones who stole the show were the delightful children who took part — playing music, drumming, singing, and reading the Nativity story from the animals’ point of view.
Donated gifts were laid near the Christmas tree and small manger setting for people in need.
The Avenel Singers gave a musical rendition of the Irish Blessing and the evening finished with a happy version of Felice Navidad by the two vocal groups and talented band of musicians, with the community joining in with gusto.
— Diane Grant