It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, especially for those who were fortunate enough to be in the packed congregation for Brentwood School’s traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Brentwood Cathedral.
As the electric lights were turned off and the beautiful Cathedral was illuminated by the glow of hundreds of hand-held candles, it felt like the festive season was finally upon us.
In the semi-darkness, the School Choir opened and closed the prayers, led by School Chaplain Revd. Dr Adrian McConnaughie, with the haunting Refrain ‘O Lord, hear my prayer’ by Taizé Community.
The Choir was conducted by Second Master, Mr David Taylor, supported by Director of Music, Mrs Hilary Khoo, and Music teachers Mr Florian Cooper and Mr William Stock. The organist was Mr Simon Winters.
The Nine Lessons were read by First Years, Aaron Adams and Anisa Sarwar, Fourth Year, Jonty McConnaughie, Head of Mill Hill House, Anna Vyshnevska, Head of School, Nirvana Leaver, Science Technician, Mrs Joan Jenkins, Head of Fourth Year, Miss Chris Holding, Chairman of Governors, Mr Colin Finch, and Headmaster Ian Davies.
After the service, there was a retiring collection in aid of The Red Cross, before visitors were welcomed back to School and, for the first time, refreshments were served in the new Bean Academic Centre.
Headmaster, Ian Davies, thanked the Dean, Fr. Martin Boland, for allowing the School to hold this special service in the Cathedral. The 800-strong congregation included First Years, Sixth Formers, parents, governors, boarders and staff.
Mr Davies explained why the British Red Cross had been chosen as this year’s charity: “The Red Cross Organisation in Belgium took a leading role in helping our staff and children in the immediate aftermath of the coach crash last June and the International Red Cross has been doing outstanding work in relation to the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East throughout this year,” he said.