Advent is a season in the Christian year that begins before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Each year, in celebration of Advent, Primary Schools on the Island hold traditional Advent Services for the public to attend.
On 4 December, St James’ Church saw its pews fill with parents, members of the public and invited guests to see Pilling Primary School’s retelling of a version of the Christmas story (the Birth of Jesus Christ).

St Paul's Primary Advent Service
St Paul’s Primary Advent Service

Pilling’s Advent Service began with an Orchestral piece entitled ‘Away in a Manger’ followed by ‘It’s a baby’, ‘Hallelujah We’ve come to see the baby’, and ‘2000 years ago’ sung by early years, nursery, reception and year 1 and 2 pupils.

The Nativity play ‘Off to Bethlehem’ was presented by Key Stage 2 pupils, highlighted with a few musical solo performers.

Pilling Primary Advent Service
Pilling Primary Advent Service

Father Dale Bowers closed the play with prayers, giving thanks to all involved in the production. Head Teacher, Miss Elaine Benjamin wished all in attendance a Merry Christmas, with pupils on stage singing a version of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ in Swedish – reflecting the celebration of Christmas for international students attending the school.
Father Dale commented that many parents know Christmas is approaching when household items go missing to be made into costumes for Christmas Nativity plays.

Harford Primary Advent Service
Harford Primary Advent Service

This could be seen on Sunday 8 December at St Pauls’ Cathedral, when St Pauls’ pupils wore their homemade costumes during presentation of their play ‘Grandma’s Special Birthday’. To a full congregation, the Bishop welcomed those in attendance, followed by a reading from Kyla Joshua. Songs included ‘Long Ago in A Stable’, ‘Close Your Eyes Little Baby Boy’ and ‘I Hear Angels’. Closing the performance, students sung ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas,’ with pupils displaying their language skills by singing a few verses in Spanish.

Rounding up the Primary School’s Advent Services was Harford’s ‘C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S spells Christmas’ – on Tuesday 10 December. The Deputy Head commented that during the performance the audience would be transported from the present to the past. The Bible reading was done by Oscar Smyth (whose parents were also present playing the piano). Reception children sung ‘I’m A Little Star’ and ‘Ten Little Angels,’ with years 1 & 2 singing ‘We’re Travelling to Bethlehem’. During the Nativity play, there were outstanding performances from several pupils, which saw a mixture of 21st century culture embedded within the play.

All Primary Schools saw well attended Advent Services where the committed efforts from pupils, parents and teachers really put across the Christmas Story.

11 December 2013

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