18th December 2023

St Mary’s looked beautiful on Sunday

The Town Council and Churches Together hosted the annual Town Carol Service at St Mary’s Church on Sunday 17 December 2023.

The church was pretty much full, which was good to see, and the carols included many national favourites, the service opening at 6pm with Once in Royal David’s City, and the congregation later singing God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings, Good King Wenceslas and ending with Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

The choir, led by Terry Saunders, did a sterling job keeping everyone in tune and themselves performed a beautiful rendition of In the Bleak Midwinter.

The Rev Suzie Fryer, of Saint Mary’s Church welcomed everyone to the service, with the opening prayer read by Maria Lee of the United Reformed Church.

Christmas readings from the New Testament were read by Charles Anderson, Deputy Lieutenant of Essex and the King’s Representative at the service, Rt Hon Sir John Whittingdale OBE, MP for Maldon, Cllr Andrew Lay, Mayor of Maldon, Cllr Duncan Rawlinson, the Town Mayor and his deputy, Cllr Fiona Clegg, with Sarah Lornie from the Burnham Baptist Church completing the readings.

Rev Suzie Fryer then gave a short sermon, or reflection, with closing prayers by Rev Vera Wadman of All Saints Church, Creeksea, the Christmas Collect (a short prayer) by Ann Williams of St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church and the final blessing by Rev Fryer.

The congregation was then asked to join celebrants, guests and councillors for wine, mince pies and soft drinks.

The following pictures were taken by Cllr Nick Skeens:

St Mary’s and its delightful  Christmassy arch
The congregation gathers
Waiting for the first carol
Charles Anderson, Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, the Rt Hon Sir John Whittingdale OBE, and Mrs Karen Lay
The choir sings an opening carol
Rev Fryer welcomes the guests
The Rev Maria Lee reads the opening prayer
Once in Royal David’s City rings out in the church
Silent Night
The local MP reads Luke 2: 1-7
The Mayor of Maldon reads Luke 2: 8-14
The congregation listens to the nativity story
The Town Mayor reads Luke 2: 15-20
The Town Mayor, Cllr Duncan Rawlinson
Cllr Fiona Clegg, Deputy Mayor, reading Matthew 2, 1-6
Sarah Lornie from the Burnham Baptist Church reading Matthew 2, 7-12
The choir singing In the Bleak Midwinter
The choir was lead by Terry Saunders who also played the church organ
The choir, with Revs Wadham and Fryer, bottom left.
Rev Suzie Fryer delivering her Christmas message
Closing prayers from Rev Vera Wadman
Ann Williams returning to her seat after handing over to Rev Fryer
The congregation listening to the final blessing
Procession. 1
Procession. 2
Procession. 3
Procession. 4
Mrs Karen Lay and former Town Councillor Babs Owens
Cllr Fiona Clegg with Maldon District Councillor, Ron Pratt behind her, right
Council staff and their partners serving Christmas refreshments