Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Festival of Carols, 13 December 2011

At a packed Shrewsbury Cathedral, around 400 friends, families and guests of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service gathered to celebrate the season of Advent and the birth of Christ.

The service was led by the Brigade’s new chaplain Reverend Murray McBride with music and song performed by the children of St Winefride’s RC School, Shrewsbury. Children, together with the congregation, were enlightened to the spirit of Christmas by an animated Reverend McBride who conducted his sermon from the top of a fire service ladder (pictured)! And following the sermon, Santa made an unexpected early visit with gifts for all of the children present.

Prayers and Blessings were given by his Grace, Mark Rylands, Bishop of Shrewsbury, together with the Very Reverend Canon Stephen Coonan, and Father Chris Matthews both of Shrewsbury Cathedral. Advent Gospel readings were presented by Station Manager Russ Hales and the Service’s head of Finance Joanne Coadey. Special guest readers were Sister Felicity from St Winefride’s and the worshipful Mayor of Shrewsbury Cllr Tony Durnell. Following the service an informal reception was hosted by Sister Felicity and the staff of St Winefride’s RC School.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are gratefully indebted to Cathedral organist Toby Belfield, School Choir leader Mrs Joan Cox and Mr Chris Evans who led the School Brass Ensemble. The Festival of Carols was kindly recorded live by BBC Shropshire and broadcast on Christmas Eve.

15th December, 2011