Come back to Abbotsholme this December, and sing Christmas carols with us in Chapel!
Here is your chance not only to re-live what is, for many Old Abbotsholmians, some very happy memories – but to bring your families along, too. Much of what you have told them of your school days must puzzle them: what was an MoD? how can anyone study in Marmalade? who did you say this Radiant Lover was? what on earth were ACAs? why were you a Red? did the whole school really go off hiking for three days each year? The Carol Service is your chance to bring them to Abbotsholme, where they can visit some of your old haunts – and you can relive your schooldays for an afternoon, listening to the age-old readings and, under the kindly gaze of the Radiant Lover himself, joining in with the traditional carols you know so well.
The members of the Abbotsholmians’ Club Committee would like to welcome you back to school on Sunday 11th December to share another memorable service. All OAs are invited, and we would love you to bring your families with you, whether they be wives, husbands, partners, your children or your parents. Do, please, make sure your old school friends know that you are coming, and encourage them to come along, too. Tea and coffee will be available beforehand, and mince pies and mulled wine will be served after the service, so there will be plenty of time for you to catch up with your friends and with some of the members of staff who used to teach you. This will also be a special Christmas, as it is Steve Fairclough’s last at Abbotsholme. Steve retires in the summer of 2017, and I hope that many OAs will welcome the opportunity to come back to school to say their personal farewells.
There are, once again, several special aspects to this day which will ensure that you can be actively involved, if you would like to be. In November, I shall be inviting various OAs to do the readings, which they will be provided with well in advance. Then, there will be a chance for you to play in an orchestra which will accompany the congregational carols, as well as the chance for you to sing in a scratch OA choir which will learn a couple of special carols to perform at the service. Jenny Merriman (Miss Henbest, as was) is directing the music, and Mary Spencer will be conducting the singers. For this to work, you will need to be at school by 11.00 am for a music rehearsal, followed by lunch provided by the school, then there will be another rehearsal before the service itself.
The actual Carol Service will begin at 3.00 pm, after refreshments for visitors in the Dining Room.
In order that we can make the necessary arrangements regarding rehearsals and catering, please do email me by Monday 17th November to let me know
If you will be coming
How many will be in your party
Whether you would like to sing*
Whether you could play in the orchestra*
(NB *What we are really looking for is enthusiasm; singers and instrumentalists only need relatively limited experience and a basic level of competence. The more experienced musicians amongst you will be invaluable, however!)
Further details and more precise timings will follow once we have finalised the details of the day, but please put this date – 11th December – in your diary now.
I do hope that very many of you will be able to come to this fourth OA Carol Service, and we look forward to seeing many old friends in Chapel on the day.
With very best wishes,
Jenny Richardson (On behalf of the Abbotsholmians’ Club)