“Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation!”


How interesting it is to have attended different carol services over the last few days in and around Rye, each one having its own special flavour and atmosphere.

On Wednesday December 13 Martin Bruce entertained the residents of Peasmarsh Place. The welcome from the staff and residents was warm and convivial. Emma Stonham, Administrator/Interim Deputy Manager, who organised this, said that her special residents really like to have a jolly old sing, especially carols.

The Staff at Peasmarsh Place Christmas Carols

All the favourites were rolled out and many of the singers did not need the carol sheets as the words were imprinted on their brains and brought back memories of many Christmases past. They were in good voice and were joined by their families who escorted them into lunch after the singing. The tables looked wonderful and the Christmas displays and crackers had been made by the residents themselves under the tutelage of Sue Forman, activities co-ordinator, who has created some great activities for everyone to join in with over the Christmas period.

Mayor’s Christmas Carols 2023: the spirit of Christmas spread its magic through Rye on Saturday December 16. The Mayor of Rye, Cllr Andi Rivett and Cllr Rebekah Gilbert, ably helped by Mrs Claus and Isabel Ryan, welcomed the people of Rye and some visitors too, to the Mayor’s Christmas Carols. One couple had come from Brighton for the weekend and were very happy to join in the carol singing, reminiscing about their wedding at the Town Hall ten years ago.

Mamma Christmas and the Mayor

Ryebellion Drummers has the ability to draw in the crowds and Saturday was no exception. The crowds grew and as they drummed, Andi, Rebekah and Mrs Claus delivered wrapped parcels of chocolates to the children. Paul Goring arrived and gave his Christmas cry and Andi gave three cheers after God Save the King.

Carol sheets were handed out and everyone joined in with their favourite carols. Wine, beers and home-cooked sausage rolls added to the festive spirit. There was a real buzz and people walked home saying to each other, “Christmas has begun in Rye.”

On Sunday December 17 RNLI Rye Harbour welcomed local residents, family and friends to the boathouse to sing carols and to thank them for their dedicated support to the station. Without significant donations, the boat would not be able to launch and it plays an important rôle in Saving Lives at Sea locally. Martin Bruce was at the keyboard again and Rye Harbour Herrings were there to lead the singing, which was indeed splendid. Mince pies, sausage rolls and warm drinks were provided by Claire, Paul and Sylvie. Children were given the opportunity to climb on board the Atlantic 85 and indeed the new chaplain to the station, Rev’d Paul White, took the opportunity to join them. The children were thrilled to see Father and Mother Christmas and laughed as he pretended to drive the tractor.

Carols in the RNLI Boathouse

Sunday was a busy day for carolers as St Mary’s had their Nine lessons and Carol Service at 6pm. After frozen weather this time last year very nearly led to the cancellation of the service altogether, it was good to see so many folk in the pews joining in the carols with gusto and to hear the church choir, recently rejuvenated, sing so charmingly.

On Saturday December 23 a Christingle Service is being held at The Church of the Holy Spirit Rye Harbour at 3pm. The Christingles will be made during the service and the local group Four Score will be singing carols.

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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