25 years ago, marked the occasion of the inaugural ‘Festival of Lessons and Carols’, hosted by St Michaels on Wyre Lodge No 8348. This celebration of Christmas is held in the magnificent surroundings of St Michael’s-on-Wyre Parish Church and the occasion saw brethren, family and friends from across the Lancaster and District Group come together for an uplifting and heart-warming service led by vicar Andrew Wilkinson.
A warm welcome was especially given to Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and his wife Maureen, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Keith Kemp, Second Provincial Grand Principal Chris Butterfield and his wife Marie, group vice chairman Scott Devine and group secretary Chris Larder.
The readers of the ‘Lessons’, have been traditionally drawn from the masters of Garstang Lodges as well as Plantagenet Lodge of Installed Masters No 9357. Upon the completion of the 25th Festival over 200 readers will have contributed to the success of the event.
The ever-popular ‘Catterall Carol’ and other favourites of the season were given great voice by June Baker and her singers. June doesn’t charge for their performance and as a gesture, a donation of £200 was made to the choir’s chosen charity – North West Blood Bikes – a very worth cause.
Malcolm Worsley is also deserving of special thanks for his accompaniment on the church organ to the many traditional carols that the congregation enthusiastically sang.
Although the evening is hosted by St Michael’s on Wyre Lodge, grateful thanks must again be given to Allan Brown as the event’s ‘guiding star’, especially in maintaining the impetus of this important event in the group’s calendar.
Following the service, mulled wine, sherry and mince pies were served, which presented the opportunity for everyone to offer their own personal good wishes for the festive season.
Article written by Paul Thompson.