Christmas message strong as ever

Church attendances were on the up in the region as people took the time to remember the real reason behind Christmas instead of it being just an excuse to party.

Church attendances were on the up in the region as people took the time to remember the real reason behind Christmas instead of it being just an excuse to party.

Many places of worship reaped the benefits of organising special family services and carol singing as pews were packed while churchgoers enjoyed the festive spectacles.

Norwich Cathedral, which held a new carolathon this year, reported very high attendance figures for its seasonal services.

The Rev Jan McFarlane, cathedral spokeswoman, said: “It is hard to reconcile gloomy reports about churchgoing dying out when during our carol service we were amazed to find people sitting in every nook and cranny available.


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“Overall we estimate that a greater number of people than usual attended over the Christmas period.”

The rector of Dereham's St Nicholas Parish Church, Canon Richard Ames-Lewis, said that on Christmas Eve nearly 1,000 people went to services and another 130 attended the midnight mass.

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Mr Ames-Lewis said: “I believe our attendances were up and it shows there is still a great interest in Christmas among families.”

The Rev Derek Earis, vicar at St Nicholas Church, North Walsham, said a special family Christingle Christmas Eve service was a great success with 400 people attending.

The Rev Tim Thompson, rector of Caister, said he was heartened to see that more young people had taken part in the midnight mass this year.

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