The Christmas Bazaar, Friends’ Market and Advent Carol Service

The Christmas Bazaar, Friends’ Market and Advent Carol Service

On a suitable chilly Sunday afternoon, families and friends gathered at a festively lit Farnborough Hill for the customary start to the Advent Season: the Christmas Bazaar, Friends’ Market and Advent Carol Service. 

The Houses had laid on their traditional stalls, filled with donations from the school community, all raising money for their House Charities.  The Roantree bottle tombola was a hit as always, Dutertre’s cuddly toy stall had parents steer their toddlers in the opposite direction and McCormack were overrun by pupils needing a sweetie fix.  Mostyn had gifts galore and Bickford’s raffle hampers were filled to the brim – winners to be announced on Monday.

The glorious smells of mulled wine and hot chocolate filled the air as families weaved their way from the Old House, via the new Sixth Form centre, to the beautifully decorated Hall, which was festooned with glitter stars, courtesy of the Art Department, and filled with wonderful craft stalls, selling everything from traditional decorations to evening gowns.  You could even have a massage to ease the winter aches! The array of goods on offer was outstanding – thank you to the Friends for pulling together such a lovely market. 

As darkness fell, the Chapel was filled with those ready to enjoy a traditional beginning to the Christmas season.  Mrs Laura Evans-Jones created the most wonderful atmosphere with lights and a hush of anticipation fell as Chapel-goers took their seats.  The Candle bearers and Senior Choir filed in at the front of the Chapel, each holding a candle to represent the coming of the light.  The opening of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ was hauntingly beautiful.  The service which followed, presided over by Fr Robin and curated by Mrs Nelle Dalton, was reflective and hope-filled, telling the story of the birth of Jesus and the faith that Mary had in the Lord’s plan for her.  The incredible voices of the Senior Choir, ably directed by Dr Ian Taylor, Miss Lucy Warwick and Miss Rebecca Fielder, interspersed the readings and lighting of the Advent candles with traditional hymns including ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘O, Holy Night’, while the congregation joined in with lively renditions of rousing classics such as ‘O Come, all ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’.  

A huge thank you to all involved in putting on such a joyous afternoon of togetherness and hope. The Christmas season is well and truly underway.