Advent service ‘The Most Accessible Christian Event’
5th December 2017
Tony Mallion reports
photos: Jenny Mallion
Cliff Park Community Church really did need the 'House Full' sign up for Carols and Coffee at Gorleston Pavilion which this year moved forward to Advent Sunday attracting a record 300 people
“We decided to put in all the extra chairs available, increasing it to eight a table, and it was just as well since every seat was needed” said organiser and host Tony Mallion. “All the publicity, including invitations handed out at the High Street Christmas Fair really worked as we had quite a few new faces attending”. The coffee bar for the cafe style event even ran out of cups at one point and Jane the manager said it was the busiest they’d ever been. Above all was a good opportunity to share the love and good news of Jesus and also to remind people about other special services throughout December
Church member Dorothy McCabe said it was a wonderful start to Advent “with such a clear message that these next four weeks are looking forward to celebrating the birth of Christ! It was an excellent service in all its diversity”
The service began with worship leader Lester Bullen singing the opening verse of that ancient and wonderful carol O Come, O Come Emmanuel before the duo of Vicky Blanchard and Abi Oyawa joined in accompanied by Richard Revell on the keyboard which provided a great opener followed by members of the teenage Q3 group – Abbie, Marissa, Gabe and Michael with leader Justin Hanks – presenting a dramatized reading of the Nativity story
For the first time the singer also took a solo spot with Richard accompanying and made Mary Did You Know? and Angels We Have Heard on High very special. The carols were as always led by the Great Yarmouth Future Brass under conductor Joel Heys who had a busy day with a concert at Christchurch straight after the Pavilion
Dom Allen’s testimony was really moving and fitted so well after the talk from minister Mike Simm. Tracy Mayne led the prayers and Anna Heydon and Stuart Hanks spoke with real passion about the The Living Room Project and its work among the homeless of the borough. The collection in the foyer with Michael and Gabe organising the buckets raised a record £670 for the charity
Church administrator Andrea said people were so keen to get a seat they began arriving at 9.30. One person who had come with a group of seven children to the service for the first time commented Carols and Coffee was the most accessible Christian event (including the sermon), that they’d been to since moving to the area. As always a team from Cliff Park Church hovered up after the service to get rid of the crumbs from the mince pies!
This week Cliff Park Church brings back Carols on the Green to the Cliff Park Estate. The open air carol singing will include a short talk from Minister the Rev Mike Simm with mulled wine, soft drinks and mince pies served. It is held on the open space of The Mews at 5pm on Sunday December 10th
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