A cold and sunny afternoon at the historic Lathom Park Chapel of St John Devine, was the setting for the Annual Ormskirk and Bootle Group Carol Service. The congregation consisting of just on 100 Masons family and friends and residents of the Tithebarn Masonic Home gathered for the Advent of Christmas.
They were joined by Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principles Tony Hall, Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman Graham Chambers and vice chairman Malcolm Alexander.
The service commenced with host the Reverend Pauline Bicknell warmly welcoming everyone to the service. The Christmas story was then explained by the reading of the nine lessons, each lesson presented at intervals throughout the service, with a rendition of many traditional Christmas carols, sung with enthusiasm by the whole congregation.
Each of the lessons were read in turn, starting with Frank Umbers (representing the Province of West Lancashire), followed by Grahame Chambers, Mrs Maureen Williams (representing the Litherland Ladies Group), Tony Hall, Martin Stewart (representing the Ormskirk and Bootle Group of Lodges), Simon Gay (representing the Ormskirk and Bootle Group of Royal Arch Chapters), Mrs Diane Hampson of the Ormskirk Ladies Group, John Thompson (representing the Charnock Richard Lodges and Chapters) and finally the Reverend Pauline Bicknell.
The collect and prayers were followed by the blessing and a hearty singing of the closing ode by the Masonic brethren.
With the service being completed, the congregation were treated to mince pies and a glass of sherry, which was served by the ladies from the chapel and assisted by a couple of members of the group. The collection raised £240 which was divided equally between the chapel and the Tithebarn.
Everyone heading home after the service felt the Christmas spirit and warmth within the group for the coming festive season.