Coleraine Council of Churches Carols Night

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The Coleraine Borough Council of Churches is inviting the public to join in an evening of carol singing in the town centre.

The annual Christmas event will take place on Friday evening, December 19.

Those interested in joining are invited to meet at the junction of Longcommons and Kingsgate Street at 7PM.

A spokeserson for the organisers told The Coleraine Times: “ From here will make our way to various shops and public spaces in the busy Coleraine shopping area where we will sing all the favourite Christmas carols to create some Christmas cheer to passers-by.

“We will eventually make our way to the Methodist Welcome Centre in QueenStreet where there will be refreshments and time to interact socially. “

“Christmas is a season that tends to bring similar experiences to the Coleraine community regardless of their background,” says Pastor Bert Ritchie, chairperson of the Churches Forum.

“The cold dark evenings imprint themselves on all our souls.

“There is general rush to prepare for the various celebrations that will be taking place.

“Often forgotten is the celebration of the birth of a Saviour, a theme that finds resonance in practically all Christian traditions in Northern Ireland. 

“The Churches Forum organises this annual event as an opportunity to celebrate the things that we share in common and unites us as a community.”

Isobel McDonagh has made time out of her busy schedule to attend the carol singing on previous occasions.

She said: “It is a truly enriching and invigorating experience to be out on a cold evening, with a group of people who may or may not know each other.

“Singing the familiar choruses together creates a bond and a sense of well-being that is really hard to describe. An added bonus is the undisguised joy that we tend to see on the faces of the onlookers.

“It is not uncommon that people stop what they are doing, listen to us singing, and sometimes they even join us for the rest of the evening.

“This is an opportunity to not only be a consumer this Christmas but to give something back in an act of community building.”

Weiers Coetser, Communications co-ordinator for the Churches Forum, commented: “We look forward to see a good crowd of participants.

“Our emphasis is on making this a truly open event for members of any faith community in the Coleraine borough and further afield.

We are actively encouraging churches and church leaders from across Coleraine to support this event.

“We invite them to advertise the event in their bulletins, and to join us for an evening of happiness and cheer.”

The organisers hope to build upon the success of previous years and want the event to become a celebration of Christmas.