|8+1 in Holy Trinity
What word do I choose? What word expresses the elation of this afternoon? For all that words are my business, I don't have one. Singing just about captured it, but we've sung our songs and drunk our mulled wine and for at least 90 Dunoon people the Christmas season has begun in joy.
The weather was perfect - lethally so. From cars colliding on the bridge in the morning's ice to the resulting worries that no-one would venture out and up our hill, we were prepared to sing our songs to a hardy few at this afternoon's carol service, but before we'd even begun our warmup they were piling in. Aged ladies on zimmers negotiated the carpark and tried to get said zimmers into a pew (no, Jeannie, leave it at the end and slide in on your bottom), children came and went in santa hats, family and friends arrived in number along with several people we'd never seen before.
8+1 led the singing - Andrew suggested that we were now nine, but I tend to think there's a logic there - and did a bit on their own as well, taking us from The Christ Child's Lullaby to the Calypso Carol without batting an eye. The babies, toddlers and assorted weans kept amazingly silent during the music. I handed over my reading to my pal, but found that I could sing after all, laryngitis or no, and began to enjoy myself. And one reader near the end of the service had us all feeling we'd heard the Christmas story for the very first time, such was the impact of his reading.
And then there was mulled wine, and folk braved the cold to use the Portaloo, standing like the Tardis just outside the church, and car keys were passed around as people tried to leave and cars were juggled in the icy car park. There were indeed over 90 people in Holy Trinity today, and it felt warm and special and joyous whatever the thermometer said.