Over 100 people, Wilberforce tenants, staff, volunteers, trustees, and members of the local community including pupils from Huntington School attended the first ever Wilberforce Carol Service at the lovely Huntington Parish Church of All Saints on Wednesday 18th December. Pews were moved to accommodate many Wilberforce tenants in wheelchairs.

During the service and between six carols, Lessons were read by a Wilberforce tenant and staff, the highlight being a the reading of the first Lesson, John 1.1-14, from Braille by tenant Keiran. Chief Executive Philippa Crowther read Luke 2.1-16.

Every Wilberforce house in York and Tadcaster was represented by tenants and support workers, swelled by staff from the Wilberforce headquarters in Huntington and volunteers from all over York. Chairman of the Trustees Roger came with his son Nick. Pupils from the Wilberforce House at nearby Huntington School added youthful voices to the singing, and other visitors came from as far away as Scarborough.

Rector Ian, dressed in cloth cap and muffler, added some drama to the proceedings with a short monologue imaging how it must have been for a new father welcoming his first son to the world in a lowly stable. Parish Assistant Rachel welcomed us all in some wonderfully appropriate and moving prayers for the Wilberforce congregation.

Prior to the service tenants and volunteers were welcomed for lunch with staff in the conference room in the Living&Learning Zone at the Wilberforce headquarters in Huntington. After the service mince pies, donated by Sainsbury’s, and drinks were served in the church.

Deemed an outstanding success, the second Wilberforce Carol Service has already been arranged, for Wednesday 17 December 2014. You are all welcome.