TRINITY’s Christmas musical showcase really did bring joy to the world last Sunday, entertaining a packed church and raising a huge £1,200 for the Christian Aid Emergency Christmas Appeal.

It was the twelfth anniversary of Joy to the World concerts which began in 2012 and continue to be a very popular. The twin themes of Christmas, and the celebration of anniversaries occurring during the year, continue to offer much scope for variety.

The audience, which included the mayors of both the Ribble Valley and Clitheroe were welcomed by Alan Meyer, Chair of Clitheroe Christians in Partnership.

The audience joined in with a variety of modern and traditional carols performed by Ribble Valley Choir and orchestra.

In Paradisum by Gabriel Fauré was movingly sung by Yvonne Hartlebury as the soloist with sensitive accompaniment by James Robinson on the organ, Dorothy Birwell on the piano and the choir.

Two dancers, Grace Brooks and Lily Robinson from the Angela Westwell School of Dance gracefully interpreted the 18th variation on a theme of Paganini by Rachmaninov. This music was chosen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Glen and Gerry Purchase performed an amusing sketch called The Carpenters go to Bethlehem, which was much appreciated by the audience. A monologue by Helen Coles playing a return visit by Queen Victoria included references to the coronation and her disappointment not to be in The Guinness Book of Records any more for the longest reign of a UK monarch! And a sports’ report on 2023 was cleverly written and delivered in verse by Norman Kelly.

In a poetry interlude, Richard Thornton read two sonnets by William Shakespeare to recognise the 400th Anniversary of the publication of his folio. Maureen Fenton followed Richard with two Christmas poems by U A Fanthorpe, her favourite poet.

Each item in the programme was introduced by comperes Madeline Adey and Andrew Piercy.

Described as ‘really uplifting, the best yet and absolutely wonderful’ by audience members, the event was a fabulous way to celebrate all that Trinity community offers.

Rev Ian Humphreys, Superintendent of the Clitheroe Methodist Circuit, gave his explanation of the reasons we celebrate Christmas. He linked the sadness of current conflicts with the recollection of the spontaneous singing of carols followed by a game of football on the battlefield in WWI, initiated by ordinary soldiers.

He asked for support for victims of war though a retiring collection for the Christian Aid Emergency Christmas Appeal.

Speaking after the event, Steuart Kellington, Musical Director, said: “It has been a pleasure to conduct the choir and orchestra who are so willing, enthusiastic, and dedicated. And Joy to the World is the perfect start to my Christmas!”


PACKED CHURCH: Joy to the World at Trinity.

DANCING QUEENS: Grace Brooks and Lily Robinson from the Angela Westwell School of Dance.