As usual, the coming festive season will bring a whole host of varied activities for all the family across the Cotswold Group of Unitarian and Free Christian congregations. Here’s a run through some of the things that are on offer; we very much hope you’ll be able to join us on some of them.
On the evening of Friday 16 December, here at Oat Street Unitarian Chapel we are holding our annual ever-popular charity concert by the Musyck Anon madrigal group – more details here.
On Sunday 18 December, the 11am services at Oat Street and Cheltenham and 3pm service at Swindon will all be Christmas-themed with Cheltenham’s service, led by Rev Rob Whiteman, being a Unitarian take on the traditional “nine lessons and carols” format.
Heading outside Cotswold Group territory briefly, on the evening of the 18th, Kidderminster Unitarians will be holding their annual Carols by Candelight at 6.30pm and all are very welcome; from past experience it’s well worth the slight detour to north Worcestershire and plenty of Cotswold Group regulars usually go.
On Friday 23 December, Oat Street’s regular weekly 6.30pm Friday Light meeting will be a group activity on the subject of Christmas; please bring music, words or pictures that inspire you.
Oat Street will be holding an 10am service on Christmas Day itself, led by Rev Rob Whiteman. At the same time at Cheltenham, members will be holding a Christmas gathering, led by Cressida Pryor and Stephen Gutteridge, with carols, readings, prayers, poems and festive music.
From 28th-31st December, Cheltenham (Bayshill Unitarian Chapel) will be hosting a Christmas puppet show with showings each day of a magical marionette production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, with proceeds going to Children In Need. Shows are at 2.30pm on 28th, 11am and 2.30pm on 29th and 30th, and 11am on 31st. Tickets (£3.50 adult, £2.50 child, £10 family ticket) are available from the Tourist Information Centre at The Wilson, or by calling 01242 263283 / 07940 430094.
Finally, Cheltenham and Evesham will both be holding New Year’s Day services at 11am. Kath Forder will lead at Evesham and Rob Whiteman at Cheltenham, where the service will be followed by a congregational (bring your own) lunch.