It’s almost as cold inside the building as it is outside. But who cares? What do they say? No such thing as bad weather only bad clothing? Everyone, - choir, cinema-goers and staff - are wrapped up in winter coats, Christmassy hats and jumpers and colourful warm scarves. We also wear fairy lights. Anyway, you can hire hot water bottles and blankets. Then there are the treats in the food hall – pies, cakes, mulled wine and hot chocolate, and much more besides.
We sing first of all near the entrance hall as folk arrive. Here we present some of the old favourites, those carols that everyone knows: Away in a Manger, Coventry Carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Once in Royal David’s City, and Silent Night. We add in some other songs we like – Going to Bethlehem Holly Jolly, Hush be Still and Past Three A Clock. This is such a lovely building to sing in. It always enriches the sound.
After a short break we move up to the balcony overlooking the Sports Hall, where they are serving the food. So many people have arrived now that the place buzzes.
Now we offer a few more well-known songs – including Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and The Twelve Days of Christmas. (Watch out for the actions in this one. Can you keep up? )
Another short break and we’re down in front of the screen. People are now beginning to take their seats. The film will start shortly. We repeat our first set and add in Carol of the Bells. My, don’t those “bells” ring out well in this space.
Soon the bath is full. People have settled into their deckchairs and have their blankets and hot water bottles ready. There is some excitement now.
The films shown are ones that we’ve all seen before, probably many times. But of course they are always better on the big screen and the festive atmosphere here adds an extra layer of anticipation.
Well worth a visit, then. It’s too late for this year but watch out for it again. Recommended.