Christmas in Holbeck: Part Two

Holbeck Christmas TreeOver a hundred people gathered to see the Holbeck Christmas tree lights get switched on (Sunday 7 December 2014).  Everyone huddled next to each other outside St. Matthew’s to see the trees get light up.

People have been expecting something. There has been a big pine tree planted in the last couple of weeks on Top Moor Side. It’s the first one I’ve seen here in a while. Last year was the first time Holbeck did Tree Lights and 12 people turned up.  Now there’s over a hundred.

Ward councillors Angela Gabriel and Adam Ogilvie greeted everyone. Adam thanked them for coming out on the cold evening.

Adam also said this has been made possible by a number of different local organisations and the council working together to make Holbeck a better place to live. It’s worth it all to see people enjoying it.lights on

Straight after, the same amount of people made their way into St. Matthew’s. It was still warm from the guests the day before at the gala. The hall was now arranged with tables and chairs. Volunteers from Mosaic church were already busy with the production line of mulled wine and mince pies. More people started to enter and soon the tables were filled up and more benches had to be brought in by the edges of the walls. I’ve never seen the hall so packed!

The Christmas Story




There was whole generations of families, from babies in prams to elders. Parents and carers shuffled together and toddlers were thrown into the air by strong arms. There was a lovely warmth to the place. Young people met up with their friends and shared the table with Adam and Angela.   The music started and the autocue rolled. The carols were sang by professional singers, but we didn’t need any help. Everyone was bursting into song!

Hannah Pearson said;

“This is our sixth carol service last year we got 70 now there’s over a hundred!”

After the carols there was the ‘Christmas Story’. We spotted people of Holbeck being filmed reading a sentence or two from the bible. Then Ben from Mosaic did a little sermon which was really lovely. Then Kate (from Mosaic also) asked people to find the piece of paper and small envelope under their chairs. This was for people to write their own prayer for someone close to them. We all did this and gave it to the person to our left. So the person can say a prayer for us, and us for them. Which we did.feeding time

There was something intriguing about opening someone else’s prayer.

Then the smells of Beef Stew (veggie option too) now drifted under everyone’s noses. There was enough to go round, as was the Christmas spirit. Thanks to Mosaic for providing this, and everyone who came to enjoy it.

The rain beat outside and me and my daughter walked back home up the hill.