Great Ayton Methodist Church was shining out like a candle in the dark on Sunday 17 December. In the church, the electric lights had been dimmed so that the church was filled with the warm glow of candles. Set on each window ledge were candles and a small Christmas tree. At the front of the church was a large Christmas tree next to a stand with five candles. These were the Advent candles lit as a countdown to Christmas Day. As it was the third Sunday in Advent, only three candles were lit. So no 'four candles' joke as Rev Lisa Quarmby, who was leading the service, explained.
The candles didn't only light the service; they played a part in the prayers and reflections. We heard the story of the Christmas candle, which was a story all about forgiveness. We were then invited to light a candle to remember someone we need to forgive or ask forgiveness from. The candles we lit were set out in the shape of a star. While the candles were being lit, the music group played 'Born in the night'.
The service contained a variety of music with traditional carols played on the organ alongside songs played by the worship group. There was also time for individuals to let their talents shine; Kate played a violin solo of 'O come, o come Immanuel' and Hannah sung 'It was on a starry night'.
We were encouraged to take this healing light out into the community and join in with the 'Carols on the Green' on Monday 18 December. We were also reminded of other Christmas services going on in the next week. See the calendar page for more details.