On the twelfth year of Lancashire Sings Christmas!

County Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Lancashire, Rev Anton Muller, reports on how this annual event is evolving.

After two years of pre-recorded events, we were back live in the Blackburn studio of BBC Radio Lancashire with the combined bands of the Blackburn and Preston Salvation Army and the Blackburn Peoples Choir.

Lancashire Sings Christmas is a partnership event between Churches Together in Lancashire and Radio Lancashire. The programme is hosted by Radio Lancashire’s Joe Wilson who presents the Sunday morning programme. We had great participation from across the churches with readings from the DEO for the Salvation Army, Capt Tracy Collis and the DEO for the NW Synod URC Rev Daleen Ten Cate. The reflection and blessing were given by the newly appointed Chair of the Lancashire Methodist District and Chair of Churches Together in Lancashire, Rev Phil Gough.

Blackburn Peoples Choir at Lancashire Sings Christmas
Blackburn Peoples Choir under the direction of Jeff Borradaile

Our theme was “There IS room at the Inn” as we reached out to all the groups running warm hubs and spaces to host a Lancashire Sings Christmas venue with the offer of a simple warm meal along with the mince pies and seasonal beverages.

During the pandemic the relationship between Churches Together in Lancashire and the local authorities has strengthened immensely. It became clear to Lancashire County Council and other civic groups that churches and faith groups were right out in the front bringing help and hope to the communities. Now with the cost-of-living crisis, it is those same groups that are having such a positive impact on the health and the spiritual health of the local communities. So much so that we have been recognised by the Director of Public Health for Lancashire, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi. Dr Karunanithi has become a friend and champion of Churches Together in Lancashire. It was a great joy to have him join us in the studio. We were also delighted to have a special message recorded for us by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell who added his words of encouragement and prayers for Lancashire.