This year's Charity was the fabulous Hope & Homes for Children - a charity set up specifically to remove children from institutionalised settings and either return them to their families, or find a family that will provide them with the warm and loving home that their parents' could not.
Further information about the work of Hope & Homes for Children can be found here:
Valerie and the Hope & Homes team did the Hall proud - the greenery, much of it collected from the Estate looked wonderful, and as ever the Hall came in to its own after dark - lit by the light of the altar candles and the scent of mince pies wafting up from below - it truly did feel like the start of Christmas.
A big thank you needs to go to Pam Dyson of Cascade Garden Centre, who allowed the Congregation to park in her car park. They were then brought to the Hall by the ever-cheerful drivers of Aquarius Mini-Coaches of nearby Kirky Malzeard. The works to the car park meant that parking the 80-strong guests would have been nigh on impossible. Several sing-alongs were reported and as a real treat the coaches dropped their passengers at the door!
It was however noted that - despite the efforts of Hope & Homes to arrange alternative parking, pay for the coach transfers and send out all instructions at the beginning of November - what is currently left of the car park was full!
That, and the fact that 22 people were still being awaited at the Garden Centre once the Service had started meant that some of our Congregation had not read their paperwork...
You know who you are!