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Scouts bathe church with light from Christingles

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A CHORUS of carols echoed through St Mary’s Church as part of advent celebrations.

The church in Fratton Road, Portsmouth, played host to the Scouts’ annual Christmas carol and Christingle event.

Hundreds of Scouts, Beavers and Cubs, from across the 22 groups in Portsmouth, got together for the festive evening.

The church was filled with friends and family, who also got a chance to sing along.

Carols such as Silent Night, We Three Kings and Away in a Manger were sung.

Bianca O’Reilly, of Church Road, Landport, came to see her seven-year-old son Kyle, who is part of the 43rd Portsmouth St Mary’s Beavers group.

Bianca, 25, said: ‘It was a really lovely evening. It’s the first Christmas event I’ve been to this year, and it really was something beautiful.

‘The evening was traditional, and reminded me of being at school again and enjoying nativities.’

Father Bob White also carried out readings, and narrated a story, as well as carrying out a blessing.

Valerie Wilshaw, also of Church Road, Landport, came along to support her son Regan.

The seven-year-old is also part of the 43rd Portsmouth St Mary’s Beaver group.

Valerie, 39, said: ‘This is about the fourth time I have attended, and every year is always slightly different.

‘Father Bob tells a different story each time, which is always interesting to listen to.

‘It’s a great, fun way to get children interested in the message of Christmas, and gets you into the spirit.’

At the end people were given Christingles – an orange, which symbolises the world. It has a candle in it to represent Jesus, a red ribbon around to represent the blood of Christ and four sticks with sweets to symbolise the four seasons and the fruits of the earth.

The event was organised by Dan Hickin, deputy district commander of the Scouts.

Scout Explorer Peter Marcus, 16, said: ‘Last night was about bringing everyone together, as we rarely all meet. ‘We had a fantastic turnout and everyone looked like they enjoyed the evening.’

 

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