8 December 2021
Woldingham School celebrated Christmas with a very special carol service at the magnificent Westminster Cathedral on Monday 6 December.
In his welcome, Headteacher Dr James Whitehead said how special it felt for students, families, staff, governors, alumnae and guests to gather in the Cathedral for the first time in two years. He also welcomed the many members of the Woldingham community watching live from all over the world.
An afternoon of beautiful music and singing began with a lovely solo of the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City by Carys in Year 7. In his opening prayer after the Cathedral lights came up during the entrance hymn, Fr Gerard Devlin, Woldingham’s Chaplain, reminded the congregation that during this season of advent we are encouraged to be the light shining in the darkness by our words and good example.
Student readers Desiree, Head Girl, Waishe, Year 9, Carys, Year 7, Alexia, Lower Sixth, and Zoe, Year 10, and staff readers Mrs Mills and Mr Baker told the Christmas story. The readings were interspersed with a lovely selection of seasonal music. Amaris sang a number of pieces, including This Little Babe from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, the Chapel Choir gave the debut performance of Noel: verbum caro factum est by Tamsin Jones, and Year 7 and the choir of St Francis’ Catholic Primary School, Caterham sang individual verses from We Three Kings of Orient Are. The choirs led the joyful communal singing of hymns throughout.
The carol service concluded with Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and a retiring collection for Woldingham’s whole school charity the Sacred Heart supported Laini Saba School in Kenya, which raised £2,000 thanks to the congregation’s generosity.