Penny Kempler, front, Hazel Bridgett, Fred Hoskins and Mary Bray, will sing in a non-denominational Christmas choir at St Mary’s Anglican Church and St Mary’s Chapel behind St Carthage’s in Lismore.
Penny Kempler, front, Hazel Bridgett, Fred Hoskins and Mary Bray, will sing in a non-denominational Christmas choir at St Mary’s Anglican Church and St Mary’s Chapel behind St Carthage’s in Lismore. Cathy Adams

Come and join in some Christmas carols

CHRISTMAS carols continue this weekend with the combined choir from the Lismore St Andrew's Anglican Church and St Carthage's Cathedral.

Taking carollers through the Nine Lessons and Carols form, the evenings will run for about an hour and a half on Friday night in Ballina, then on Sunday night in Lismore.

The carols service is non-denominational and everyone is welcome to come along to sing and learn about the history of Christmas.

Choir member Penny Kempler said the form takes the listeners through the traditional Christmas carols in between brief Bible readings.

"We don't have anything about Santa Claus ... it's very joyful and sacred, it's just all the traditional carols," she said.

Some of those carols include Joy to the World, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night.

"Christmas is a time of love, peace, joy and hope, regardless of your religious belief, let's celebrate it together," Ms Kempler said.

The Nine Lessons and Carols began with Edward Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death in 1896.

"It was started by Benson in Cornwall because he felt the Anglican Church service needed a bit of life put into it," Ms Kempler said.

"He developed this whole service and then it was taken over by Kings College, Cambridge, one of the world's best choirs.

"Churches and cathedrals now have their own versions of the Lessons and Carols."

The choir's conductor, Warren Whitney, has led the Christmas carols ever since it began around 35 years ago.

"It started at St Andrews Anglican Church and eventually I started doing it here as well," he said.

"We do different carols and anthems every year."

Admission is free with an optional offering at the end of the evening.

Tomorrow's carols begin at 7.30pm at St Mary's Anglican Church, Ballina.

They start at the same time on Sunday at St Mary's Chapel, behind St Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore.



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