MESSAGES of Christmas joy and cheer were shared at a festival of carols and readings held to mark the 85th anniversary of townswomen’s guilds.
The service at Holy Trinity Church in West Street, Fareham, was organised by Whiteley Townswomen’s Guild and saw scores of members from across the county attend.
Lorraine Bielckus, chairwoman of WTG, said the group was delighted to host yesterday’s event in its milestone year.
Ms Bielckus said: ‘It was lovely to see everybody attending the service.
‘The East Hants Townswomen’s Guild is a big area so it is nice to see everybody here smiling and enjoying a cup of tea and a cake.’
Valerie Walker, also from WTG, read a poem to celebrate the guild’s 85 years.
She has been a member since 2002, when she moved back to the UK after a stint living abroad.
She said: ‘Our guild is very active.
‘We have around 60 members who come along and you can always find something you want to do. It’s good and it was a lovely service.’
Pupils from the choir at Whiteley Primary School performed a repertoire of festive songs.
Several children gave readings, including 10-year-old Harry Smith, from Whiteley.
Watching Harry from the crowd were his grandparents Sandy and Howard Mitchell.
Mrs Mitchell said: ‘It was absolutely stunning, they are a wonderful choir.’
Headteacher Lesley Pennington praised the children for their performance.
She said: ‘They have done a fantastic job. I’m really proud of them.’
The Rev Sally Davenport led the service. She said: ‘The children sang beautifully and they filled everyone with hope and joy.
‘Everyone came out of the service smiling.’