The Cathedral was full to the rafters twice over on Wednesday 3 December 2014 as nearly 3,000 children from across the Diocese re-enacted the Nativity story at the annual Catholic Children’s Society Carol Service. Two services were held on the day, the first of which was attended by Bishop Nicholas at 11am and the second by Bishop John at 2pm.
The services told the story of the Nativity which was performed by the children and local actors and included a live donkey and sheep. The Christmas story was narrated by an actor, playing the role of an angel, and included a variety of Christmas Carols. After the narrative had been completed, the Bishops gave a brief homily to the children about longing for Christmas and how we must follow the star to Jesus just like the Wise Men did.
Above: Bishop John encouraging the children to follow the star to Jesus
As part of the celebration two children from each school brought forward envelopes with money which had been raised by schools to continue to work of the Children’s Society. They were gratefully accepted in front of the sanctuary by the Bishops and Mgr Phelim Rowland, the chairman of the Society. After the services, Mgr Phelim said: 'It was wonderful to see so many at the two carol services in the Cathedral. Children and their teachers travelled long distances in some cases to reflect on the humble birth of a child who brought light and hope to our world. I was so glad to be able to share in the Christmas story with them and in so doing highlight the needs of many children in our Society. If they left being more aware of the plight of so many living in our Diocese and also more aware of the Christmas story, then the Catholic Children's Society has done its job.'
Abive: Bishop Nicholas with the 'cast' from the Nativity