Celebrating Christmas with carols and champagne

It was Christmas with a difference, but residents found novel ways of celebrating despite the Coronavirus lockdown. Following a Christmas Eve ringing of bells, at 11am on Christmas morning many tuned in to a virtual carol recital performed by our musicians Jane McClelland and Simon Lillystone. Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Little Town of Bethlehem rang out across a dozen homes with residents joining in the festive spirit.  The zoom event was hailed a great success. ‘We just want to say thank you to Jane and Simon for their beautiful carolling, and to the other villagers who participated’, said Chris and Richard Lewis. ‘It was a real treat to see everyone during a very strange Christmas at the end of a very strange year. Please pass our thanks and best wishes to the others.’  PERA chairman David Stanier said: ‘The concert was a great success. Talking to several others who had braved the technical hurdles, they felt it was a particularly Christmassy thing to do. What they liked was the ability to mute the sound and sing heartily along to Simon’s lead. So on their behalf I would like to express their appreciation to Jane and Simon for an excellent festive occasion.’

Afterwards Riverbank residents popped the champagne corks and went outside to exchange Christmas greetings with their neighbours pictured here,