The following passages reporting on the Christmas Eve Service were written by my Uncle, Michael Snarey, who was visiting from overseas over the Festive Period.
Christmas Eve in Hambleton was not particularly cold even for those of us more used to warmer climes but, for those of us looking for a more visible demonstration of the festive spirit, we were perhaps a little surprised there were no colourful lights and no Christmas tree on the village green. The church, itself, was however most tastefully decorated as befits such an occasion.
Undaunted, however, we decided to attend the Midnight Mass which, for valid logistical reasons, was held at 9:00pm.
The village church was full and welcoming and the service was ably conducted by an excellent Irish cleric with a Beatles’ haircut. He was a skilful man who realised he could not hold the attention of his congregation for too long on this most auspicious of evenings but, nevertheless, he ensured that the service took place as it should. He introduced some humour into the formal part of the proceedings and, quite remarkably, he managed to ignore the interesting sounds that emanated from the organ.
Mention was made of the forthcoming church restoration works and, hopefully, this swelled the collection to some degree. Everyone was on their best behaviour and, to my personal amazement and surprise, all those present joined enthusiastically in the communal hug.
The service was an amazing experience which seemed to set the scene well for a most joyous Christmas. For one who has not been to church for a very long time it provided a wonderful opportunity for reflection.
Hambleton St Andrew’s Church is now closed for the replacement of the slate roof.
The scaffolding is being erected and roofmg work will start mid February. The programme is to complete the work by the end of May and Church services should recommence in June. Further updates will be posted.
Hambleton “Open Gardens and Artisan Stalls” is going ahead as normal on Bank Holiday Monday May 1st.