Brigade Festival of Carols 2008

From left: Dean of Shrewsbury Cathedral, The Reverend Canon Stephen Coonan; Chief Fire Officer, Alan Taylor; Bishop of Ludlow, The Right Reverend Michael Erenford Hooper; Brigade Chaplain, The Reverend Peter Barnes

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service recently held one of their most successful Festival of Carols at St Mary Magdalene Church, Bridgnorth, with around 400 people attending.

The choirs of Bridgnorth Endowed School and the St Mary's Choristers led the carols, accompanied by the Bridgnorth Endowed School Band and St Mary's organist Dr John Turnock. During the service Christmas readings were delivered by the actress Gabrielle Drake, Cllr John Hurst-Knight from the Fire Authority, Station Manager Dave Bishton from Tweedale Fire Station and Crew Manager Ashley Brown from Bridgnorth Fire Station. The readers represented three charities – Asthma UK, St Mary's Church Fund and The Firefighters Charity, the charities benefiting by an incredible £1,200 which was raised during the service. And as an early treat for the children attending, Santa Claus made a much welcomed surprise appearance!

At the close of the service, and in recognition of the Brigade's Diamond Jubilee year (1948-2008), the Bishop of Ludlow – The Right Reverend Michael Hooper, and the Reverend Canon of Shrewsbury Cathedral RC – Stephen Coonan, read aloud blessings. The blessing were sent by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster.

BBC Shropshire will be broadcasting the service at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

17th December, 2008