Gosport church plays host to carol service

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Dogs use facial expressions to communicate

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PEOPLE gathered in the grounds of a former naval hospital for an annual Christmas carol service.

St Luke’s Church in Haslar Hospital in Gosport, welcomes people in for the carol service each Christmas.

18/12/14    ''St Luke's Church Haslar Christmas carol service. 9th Alverstoke Brownies''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143631-4) PPP-141218-204023001

18/12/14 ''St Luke's Church Haslar Christmas carol service. 9th Alverstoke Brownies''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143631-4) PPP-141218-204023001

Led by The Rev Phil Hiscock, people sang carols including O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and We Three Kings.

The 9th Alverstoke Brownies began to sing the first verse of Silent Night, before the congregation joined in.

And there were several readings.

Eric Birbeck, leader of the Haslar Heritage Group, said: ‘Since the hospital shut we have always held this Christmas carol service.

‘It’s very much loved by all. The church is open on the fourth Sunday of every month for a service.

‘It’s a much-loved church by all who worked and served here. Many of the people here are former members of staff.

‘The church means so much. It’s a special church and it always has been for years.

‘Even in the Second World War, people used to come here for reflection.

‘Patients and staff came to the church when the hospital was running.’

And Eric said the church service is important to the congregation that makes the effort to attend every year.

‘It’s got a great atmosphere,’ he said.

Angela Paul, 70, from Fitzroy Drive in Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘We come to the church every month anyway and we come to the carol service each year.

‘We support all of the services here. I was in the navy so it’s been a part of my life for many years.’

Tony Whetstone, 87, from Anglesey Road in Alverstoke, said: ‘We used to be regular worshippers, being in the navy. We come here every year for the service and once a month to the church.

‘It’s a lovely church and it brings back glorious memories and some sad ones too.’