CHURCH-GOERS in Stratford will be treated to an extra dose of Christmas spirit this year.
An extra service will be held on Christmas Eve at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church, after services proved so popular in recent years that church-goers had to be turned away.
The new evening service – ‘Carols for All’ – will make up four seasonal services to be held throughout the day.
Rev Patrick Taylor said: “For a number of years long queues have formed outside Holy Trinity an hour before the service and we have had to turn away significant numbers of people because the church is full.
“This is clearly not a satisfactory situation and, following an extended period of consultation with the congregation and wider parish community, the Parochial Church Council has agreed to changes in the Christmas schedule.”
The new schedule includes Service of Lessons and Carols at 3pm; The Big Nativity service for children and families at 5pm; Carols for All service at 6.30pm; and Midnight Mass from 11pm
In previous years The Big Nativity started at 6pm, but the Parochial Church Council felt it was too late for young children who enjoy dressing in nativity costume.
Some 2,400 people attended Christmas services at the church last year.
Despite a national decline in attendances at traditional Sunday services, over Christmas and Easter the numbers rise significantly.