Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Pupils, parents, teachers and governors at Bolton School Boys’ Division joined together for a Christmas Festival of joyous singing and poignant readings as the Bishop of Bolton, the Right Reverend Mark Ashcroft, recalled the true meaning of Christmas. He commended the boys for their eloquent readings and reflections which had made clear what the festive season is really all about. It should not be about presents nor should we be diverted by the peripherals of the Christmas story such as the manger, the Magi or the shepherds but we should focus on the coming of Jesus, the King of our Universe, who brings life, love and hope into our world.
This year’s end of term celebration saw a range of choirs offer up an arresting selection of festive favourites, ably and frequently assisted by a large and encouraging congregation. Headmaster Philip Britton invited the gathering to worship before Year 7 boys sang the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City, after which their voices were supported by the Great Hall audience. There were similarly rousing renditions of O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Joy to the World! Mary’s Boy Child, Shine Jesus Shine and a roof-raising finale of O Come, all ye Faithful!
The whole school hymns were punctuated by carefully selected biblical readings and reflections from pupils, the Headmaster and the Bishop. The tiered wall of voices which was the Boys’ Division Choir sang On This Day Angels Sing, Angels Tell the Christmas Story and James R Murray’s Away in a Manger. Girls and boys of the Chamber Choir performed harmonious renderings of What Sweeter Music, William Blake’s The Lamb and No Room, No Room. There were also strong performances from the boys’ Lower School Choir and Senior School Choir who sang What a Glorious Night and When Love was Born respectively.
Guests then enjoyed a festive toast in the Leverhulme Suite and retiring collection was made for charity.
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