A bright and crisp Sunday afternoon at St Chad’s Church in Poulton-le-Fylde was a perfect setting for the annual lessons and carols service held on behalf of the three Fylde Masonic groups, namely the South Fylde, Blackpool and North Fylde Groups.
A packed church of Fylde Coast Freemasons and their families gathered at 2:30pm with the congregation in very fine voice for a programme of extensive carol singing. This year the organisation and management of the event was the turn of the South Fylde Group and was masterminded by the group’s new secretary, Will Buchanan.
Ben Gorry, South Fylde Group Chairman said: “We are very grateful to Will Buchanan. He has put a massive amount of preparation and effort into ensuring that the logistics of this 2023 Fylde Coast Chapter Christmas event were so well understood by all. Also, for ensuring that everything was in place, prior to the service.”
This annual Masonic carol service was led in its usual high-quality manner by the Vicar of St Chad’s, Rev Martin Keighley, supported by the inimitable Canon Godfrey Hirst, Past Third Provincial Grand Principal. A local choir of mature male and female voices supported the worship, carols and short readings, through its performances of ‘The Angel Gabriel’, ‘Christmas Lullaby’, ‘The Angels’ Carol’ and other well-known seasonal favourites.
The seven lessons were ably read by both ministers, accompanied by the three Fylde Coast Group Chairmen, namely Ben Gorry, Steve Jelly (Blackpool) and John Cross (North Fylde). Readings were also given by David Barr, Third Provincial Grand Principal and John Robbie Porter, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals.
A collection was made during the penultimate carol, ‘The First Noel’, the proceeds of which were given to St Chad’s Church to supplement its much needed ‘building-fund’ coffers.
Following the Rev. Keighley’s final prayers and good wishes for Christmas, the congregation gave rapturous applause to the choir and then proceeded to the rear of the church to enjoy complimentary mince pies and tea/coffee. The Fylde Group chapters are grateful to Jimmy Rogers for organising the refreshments so effectively.
Report and pictures by John Topping.