The very picturesque Lathom Park Chapel of St John the Divine in the beautiful countryside near to the remains of Lathom Hall was again the setting for the Ormskirk and Bootle Group annual carol service. A congregation consisting of 76 Masons, together with their families, friends, residents and staff from the Tithebarn Residential Home came together to celebrate the advent of Christmas.
Present for the service were Assistant Provincial Grand Master Robert Wright accompanied by his wife Tina, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Tony Hall and his wife Jean, Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Frank Umbers with his wife Cathy and group vice-chairman Graham Chambers.
The congregation on arrival were greeted by Raymond Massey of Eureka Lodge No 3763 playing festive carols on the chapel’s organ up in the gallery and to the chapel appropriately decorated for Christmas.
The service commenced with Reverend Pauline Bicknell warmly welcoming everyone to the chapel. The Christmas story was explained by the reading of nine lessons, each lesson presented at intervals throughout the service, with the accompaniment of many traditional Christmas carols being sung with enthusiasm by the whole congregation.
Each of the lessons were read in turn commencing with Robert Wright (representing the Province of West Lancashire), followed by Tony Hall (representing the Provincial Grand Chapter of West Lancashire), Mrs Marjorie Cunliffe (representing the Bootle Ladies Club), Graham Chambers the group vice-chairman, Mrs Diane Hampson (representing the Ormskirk Ladies Group), Derek Challinor of Bootle Chapter No 1473 (representing the principals and companions of the group), Peter Smith of Stanley of Bickerstaffe Lodge No 3511 (representing the masters and brethren of the group), Frank Umbers group chairman and Reverend Pauline Bicknell.
Following the ninth reading, a collection was held raising £151 which was divided between Tithebarn Residential Home and Lathom Park Chapel.
The service being completed the members of the congregation were able to enjoy a mince pie and a glass of sherry, which was served by the ladies from the chapel assisted by a couple of members from the group. All those who attended the service would have undoubtedly felt the Christmas spirit within the group during the festive season.