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Christmas 2014 at St Paul's

The front porch, showing posters for all the events taking place

What a wonderful Christmas it was!  So much ‘going on’ and so much generous giving.  Many thanks go to all those who have supported all our events in so many ways, preparing the church, donating food and wine, helping with services and events, just being with us and thoroughly enjoying the season together.

Welcome reception for the Christmas Tree Festival

Grange Extravaganza weekend

Edward Bear's Christmas party

Kirky Lonsdale Hand Bells and Choir concert

Organ Recital - and Charles' special birthday party

Carol Service

CTiG Carol Singing on Saturday 20th December

Candles of Remembrance

Christingle Service on Christmas Eve

The month-long CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL at St Paul's Parish Church got off to a cracking start.  Christine Harrison, Churchwarden, welcomed over 240 folk to the evening reception and introduced Tim Farron, our local MP, who asked how Christmas makes us feel.  He referred to the prophet Micah's prediction - 700 hundred years before Jesus was born - that someone will come from Bethlehem to rule the nation, and suggested this festive season is a time for expectation, excitement and hope. 

Churchwarden Christine Harrison welcomes everyone to the reception

Tim Farron MP opens the Festival

Pupils from Grange CofE Primary School entertain with songs from the hit musical 'Frozen'

The Bay Community Singers


The Mayor and her escort were in attendance

Robin Webster compered the event in his unmistakable style introducing the Bay Community Singers, Grange  C.of E. Primary School choir singing numbers from the hit musical ‘Frozen’, and talented musicians under the direction of Judith Pool.  We sang traditional carols and learned the importance of communicating through means other than sound as Robin taught us to’sign’ We wish you a merry Christmas for those with hearing impairment.  And, like all good events, there was an interval when we were offered the delicious nibbles and wine prepared by the Social Committee, while we had a closer look at the 36 Christmas Trees decorated by different organisations in the town on the theme of ‘Peace and goodwill’.

The proceeds from the Festival will be given to Springfield, a women's refuge

Micah's prediction continues with these words, "Like a shepherd taking care of his sheep, this ruler will lead and care for his people by the power and glorious name of the Lord his God. His people will live securely and the whole earth will know his true greatness, because he will bring peace."   (Micah 5, v4-5)

Do find time to pop in to see the Christmas Tree Festival – open daily 10 am to 4 pm until the 1st January.  Coffee is available.  There is no charge, but all donations will be sent to support the work of Springfield, the women’s refuge.  As you view the exhibits take a moment to pray for peace and goodwill in our troubled world.

Grange Extravaganza Weekend

It was very busy Saturday in St Paul’s Church on Saturday 6th December. Grange School manned Fair Trade Stalls and provided craft activities for children visiting the festival. We were amazed by the numbers coming into Church. Thank goodness that many of the 260 who visited (and 3 dogs) had already visited cafes in the town!

Kirky Lonsdale Hand Bells and Choir concert

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year, the Kirkby Lonsdale Handbell Ringers entertained us at St Paul's Parish Church on Friday evening with a resounding collection of Christmas themed tunes. Although they have a full range of five and a half octaves, with the largest bell weighing 4kg, and a couple of spares so that one ringer is not left with too many bells to juggle in one piece, they brought a large, very polished sample which they played with skill and prowess. 

Charles Edmonson read out a good humoured story based in God's own country, an honor for a county questioned by the audience, about a choir who were asked to sing Handel's Messiah. The audience giggled but were soon subdued by the quiz that had us concentrating on the notes coming from the piano. Charles played part of the tune of a well known carol then stopped abruptly. Our task was to write down the word that followed. It was easier when he played a line of the carol but when he played only one note he had everyone flummoxed. Well, nearly! The first letters of the words were an anagram and whichever team reassembled the letters first won the prize. My top tip?...get into a team with a musical interest and much knowledge of carols.!! 

Members of the augmented choir sang from their Christmas repertoire and afterwards we were all rewarded with a delicious treat of nibbles and wine, tea and coffee. 

We ended the evening, accompanied by the Kirkby Lonsdale Handbell Ringers, with a carol whose words are as poignant to our world today as they were when they written in 1719, "Joy to the World, The Lord is come."

For more information about the handbell ringers visit

Organ Recital - and Charles' special birthday party

Since Charles Edmondson became the organist of St. Paul’s Church, he has greatly enhanced the church’s contribution to the musical life of Grange by a series of concerts which he himself has given, sometimes accompanied by other musicians. The latest of these offerings was his Concert of Seasonal Music on 14th December where he was joined by the singer Sue Harrison who was accompanied at the piano by her mother Sylvia Trohear.

Charles’ programmes draw on a very wide repertoire. At this concert he played works by a wide selection of European composers. The programme notes may not have seemed to tell you much which was immediately recognisable (though they are very witty and artistic, but many pieces proved in fact to be familiar to us. Memorable amongst them were Variations on a Provencal Carol, whose main melody was that of Bizet’s Arlesienne Suite, a stirring Bach composition and a lovely set of variations on a Polish carol which we know as Infant holy, Infant lowly.

In the course of the concert Sue Harrison sang four songs, including a lovely rendering of the familiar Little Road to Bethlehem. The concert raised £183 for St Mary’s Hospice

Those of you who have heard Charles will need no urging to come back for more. To those who haven’t, may I just say that you have been missing serious treats.  Miss no more!

Edward Bear's Christmas Party


At 4.00pm on Sunday 21st December St. Paul's held its annual Carol Service. Over 160 people attended the traditional service of carols and readings. The congregational carols were supplemented by  a number of Christmas songs sung by the augmented  Choir (made up of members of St.Paul's choir,  congregation members, URC AND Methodist choir members and others from as far afield as Millom and Carnforth) led by Charles Edmondson and assisted by John Falkingham.

The Service started in candle light (and illumination from the many  Christmas trees in the festival) for the singing of "Once in Royal David's City ".  Many other familiar carols followed with the congregation lustily singing trying to match the harmony of the choir(which they did very successfully). A really excellent way to get into the festive spirit (and the mulled wine and mince pies afterwards also helped). If you were not able to join us this year do come along next year.                      

This year we wanted to encourage different people and so our 9 readers were:

1. Charles Edmondson, Church Director of Music

2. Nigel Higginson, from our famous family butchers

3. Dave Wheatcroft, member of our congregation and Vice chair of Governors at Grange CE Primary School

4. Mike Horning, regular member of the St. Paul’s Sunday morning congregation and Grange Civic society

5. Tricia Thomas, Mayor of Grange-over-Sands

6. Mark Hadwin, from one of our older shop-keeping families

7. John Peat, from the Fell Church

8. Penny Hollander, Carlisle Diocesan School Visitor and SIAMs inspector

9. The Rector                                                                                                                                                                             

CTiG Carol Singing on Saturday 20th December

It was a very strange feeling as about 14 people joined as a group to sing carols outside Grange Now office. We remembered past years when we were standing in ice and snow and freezing. It didn’t feel like Christmas until we started singing. This year we were wet through but continued on, enjoying this opportunity to sing together. Thanks go to Keith Waller for accompanying our singing.


Fifteen people attended the special service held in Grange Cemetery to remember family and friends departed.  It was a much appreciated service giving comfort to those who attended.


This was a wonderful occasion as usual with a full church and many excited children. The climax always seems to be the most poignant, when the lights go out and the candles are lit. It is a very emotional moment and very meaningful.

Our very ‘rough’ count revealed that approximately 270 adults and children attended (why do they move about when we are counting!) and the final collection, sent on to the Children’s Society, was £432.