Residents, councillors and council staff gathered at Waltham Abbey Church to celebrate Christmas by Candlelight on Thursday 15 December 2016.
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The congregation was treated to the Abbey at its most stunning as the lights dimmed and the candles were lit for the annual Civic Carol Service hosted jointly by Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The service was led by Rev Peter Smith with wonderful musical arrangement from Jonathan Lilley and the church choir.
Readings from King James Bible
Town Mayor Helen Kane welcomed members of the congregation. Councillor Liz Webster and Clerk Kathryn Richmond gave readings taken from the King James Bible on behalf of the Town Council. Rev Canon Dr Joyce Smith also gave a reading as did District Council Vice-Chairman David Stallan and Deputy Chief Executive Derek Macnab on behalf of the district before the final words by Epping Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Jeane Lea.
Traditional Christmas carols
On a magically crisp clear December evening the congregation sang traditional Christmas carols. Mulled wine and mince pies were served later at Waltham Abbey Town Hall. The offertory collection will be shared between the Salvation Army, Waltham Abbey Church and Councillor Lea’s Chairman’s Charity, the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance.
Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea