This year’s Christmas Praise was such an exciting way to begin December with sleigh bells, dancing and confetti along with of course some stunning performances! Wonderful talented singers from West End Has Faith joined us once more. We also gave a big welcome back to young soloists from Prom Praise for Schools for their first Christmas Praise appearance. Author and evangelist Glen Scrivener also joined us to share some of his thought-provoking and creative poems, challenging us to think of Christmas in a different way.
Glen’s book Four Kinds of Christmas was this year’s theme, exploring Christmas from the view of Scrooge, Shopper, Santa and Stable. The performers threw themselves into their roles: Luke Cozens sang I Hate People! as Scrooge himself, and our very own Tiny Tim (Luca Latchman) ended the show with the ensemble, singing God Bless Us Everyone. It was wonderful to showcase the teenagers as well, with Katie Langley, Rosie Trentham and Leah Bradshaw joining Luca in their own performance of Away in a Manger.
The All Souls Orchestra were at their best, of course, underscoring poems and accompanying soloists as well as dazzling us with their performances of Emmanuel Chabrier’s Joyeuse Marche and Leroy Anderson’s Trumpeter’s Lullaby, with trumpeter Izalni Junior playing the solo.
We were felt with thought-provoking words from Glen in his final poem:
Are we able to strip back to the stable,
This fable made flesh, our Maker enmeshed in the mess.
To bless us, possess us, and be heaven’s Yes to our race.
To embrace us in grace, evermore in our place.
Pledging flesh, blood and bone. To exchange a throne for a manger.
Endangering all to be present to you. To be God’s present to you.