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Christmas tree welcomes with bright lights

Hark the Herald angels

Schoolchildren pictures

Wise Man tells story.

Nowell words ilustrated by the children's drawings

Prize winning drawings

The Christmas Poem
Rev Ian Cathcart tells us the real meaning of Christmas

Puppets lead on Show me the way to Shine for Jesus

Sam McDonald on the Cajon, joins Graham for 'Show me the way....'

Hope4Penicuik Christmas Carols - 11 December 

Audience sing a Christmas Carol
Fabulous evening at the Hope4Penicuik carol event in the town hall this evening. Joan an Neil Cape led the evening supported by Penicuik Silver Band, Penicuik Puppets, Graham, Sam, and Sophie McDonald. Rev Ian Cathcart presented the Christmas story.

Outside the wind was blowing, the showers heavy, and the mercury dropping, but inside Penicuik town hall there was a warm welcome for families and all visitors for the annual Carol event staged by Hope4Penicuik.

Joan and Neil Cape led the proceedings with Joan providing the 'links' between each activity, and Neil on the AV systems. We started with the Penicuik Puppets presenting, 'Always look on the bright side of Life', from the Monty Python film 'Life of Brian'. The Grumpy Old Man puppet with the cloth cap eventually got into the swing and soon had us all singing along. The Penicuik Silver Band  played the musical accompaniment.

Joan had a chat with the old Granny puppet about what she thought Christmas was all about, and having eventually got to 'something to do with the birth of Jesus'. With everyone now smiling we started the Christmas Carols with 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing', the Silver Band leading the singing, followed by more Angels joining the puppets for 'Angels from the Realms of Glory'.

Mo Hayes read the story of how Mary and Joseph had to travel from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem for the Census  as decreed by Caesar Augustus.

Back to the Christmas Carols and we continued with 'Away in a Manger', whilst looking at drawings created by primary school children from across Penicuik

We heard about the shepherds tending their sheep, being terrified at receiving a visit from an angel of the Lord. The angel told them not to be afraid, and gave them the good news.  We then sang 'It was on a starry night'  followed by 'Sing for the baby at Bethlehem', both accompanied by Graham McDonald on piano, daughter Sophie on clarinet, and son Sam on guitar.

Joan then introduced a video of the Wise Men receiving the call to travel to Bethlehem. Though dressed in typically biblical robes, our wise man displayed some very modern twists, such as arriving at the stable and finding it terribly smelly. either the shed needed cleaning or the baby needed a nappy change, noting that perhaps baby wipes would have been a good gift!  When they realised who the new born child was, they knelt down before him, though our wise man did comment that what they knelt on was none to fresh! This brought some smiles to the audience. 

We collected our thoughts and joined in singing 'The First Nowell', with suitably attired puppets, now getting into Christmas with their bright red Santa hats, helping us along.

The illustrations during the evening were gathered from drawings created by the children from the Penicuik schools and churches.

Joan showed us a selection of the best drawings and presented prizes to their artists, some individually and others to groups of children.

A huge round of applause followed showing the audience appreciation, and talent, of our very young children in Penicuik.

Time for a couple of carols, this time 'O Little town of Bethlehem' and 'See him lying on a bed of straw' with musical accompaniment by the McDonald trio, but this time with Sam
on the Cajon, a type of drum originating from Peru.

We watched a video of  'The Christmas Poem'  a faithful and fresh retelling of the 'greatest story ever told', from the bible Society, setting Jesus' birth in the context of God's plan to "turn what is sad into glad again".

The Rev Ian Cathcart then took the poem as his theme for the story of Christmas. He told us of his encounter in the precinct, dressed as Santa Claus, with a distraught mother, loaded with messages and trying to keep two children from fighting each other . Asked to say something to the children, one bing bad the other good, left him wondering. Being truthful, we are all 'bad' at some time in our lives, and the real message of Christmas is that Jesus  came into our world to forgive our sins and teach us the way of living together in harmony. Yes, Santa Claus and presents are wonderful, but we should not lose sight of the real meaning 
of Christmas. He finished with a prayer for all mankind at Christmas, especially those in dire need.

We finished the evening with 'Show me the way to Shine for Jesus' sung to the tune 'Amarillo' by Tony Christie,  with music from the Graham and Sam McDonald, Sophie having joined the puppeteers, and that old faithful Christmas Carol 'O come all ye faithful', with the Silver Band playing a rousing tune to lift our spirits high.

Well done to the Hope4Penicuik team for a great event, and to all those who contributed to the performance.

Thanks to all who supported the event and have a happy Christmas.
For all the Christmas events click HERE