The Bristol/Cardiff Group appreciates God for the success of the 2023 Christmas Carol, held at 1, Rock Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol on the 3rd of December 2023. The occasion, which attracted attendees across the United Kingdom, was well supported by delegate choristers from Bexley and Peckham branches in London, culminating in a total attendance of sixty-three congregants. Glory be to God!
The day started with Sunday School lessons for all ages, with the children – primary pals and answer classes, having a separate class, while the junior and senior attendees held a combined class focused on the topic – “The Two Debtors”. The lesson happened to be the first in the series – “And He spake a parable”. The lesson was facilitated by Brother Joshua Nwaebonyi, from Peckham Branch, who guided congregants into appreciating the extent of God’s forgiveness and how one ought to respond with much Love for Him. The lesson climaxed into a time of personal prayers to wrap up the morning session.
After a hearty lunch, a good fellowship, and a time of practice by the choir led by Sister Olos Irenoa to put some finishing touches to the preparations, the carol kicked off at 1:30 pm. The theme of this year’s carol – “Emmanuel – God is with us”, was evident throughout the afternoon of music, as the choir blessed the audience with melodious musical renditions of Christmas carols, such as “Come and Worship” by Henry T. Smart and Felix Mendelssohn and “Ding Dong Merrily On High” by Charles Wood and George R. Woodward. The host choristers – Bristol/Cardiff choir, also blessed the congregation with an exhilarating rendition of – “Ring Out the Merry Bells” by Leonard A. Gordon. After which the audience was treated to a Flute solo – “Christmas Medley”, as well as other beautiful choral pieces, while also grabbing the opportunity to join in the singing themselves, of hymns like – “O little town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks. The songs were spiced up with testimonies from choristers, who narrated God’s goodness in their lives since they decided to have Jesus as their Lord.
A melodious solo rendition of “Mary Did You Know?” by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry, was closely followed by a sermonette from Brother Ola Balogun, the Pastor of Peckham Branch. Using 2 Corinthians 8:9, he preached about ‘The ABCs of Christmas’, stressing the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was rich, but He willingly became poor so that we may be rich. He noted that we could identify with Christ’s grace by association. And that to do this, one needs to humble oneself and first acknowledge the filth and then have it exchanged for God’s righteousness, thus one becomes rich in grace. He urged everyone to tap into the riches of Christ during this Christmas season.
A vote of thanks by Brother Thomas Moyo – the Leader of Bristol/Cardiff Group, was closely followed by a beautiful congregational rendition of “Joy to the World” by Lowell Mason, and a jubilant chorus by the choir of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” by Arthur Warrell, effectively rounding off the afternoon of Christmas music. All glory be to God for the success of the Carol and looking forward to Him for a more glorious event in the coming year if the Lord tarries.