The drive-in Christmas Carol service held in Tesco’s carpark on Sunday December 20 by Emmanuel Church was so well attended it had to be repeated.
Due to popular demand, two sessions of the free, ticketed event were held, one at 4.30pm and again at 5.30pm. The carol services had been postponed from the previous weekend because of heavy rain.
Guests sang from the safety of their cars, parked in alternate spaces. Prizes were given for the best decorated vehicles. A huge Christmas cake sat on top of one car while another car was disguised as a reindeer, complete with giant red nose.
Each vehicle received a goodie bag, including mince pies donated by Tesco and a children’s craft activity. Live Christmas carols were played by a socially-distant band. An angel arrived by motorbike, lights flashing, engine revving and announced, “Good news – Jesus is God’s baby!”. Horns beeped to welcome Mary, as Joseph pushed her on a shopping-trolley donkey to the stable.
Michael Prest, one of Emmanuel Church’s leaders, thanked Tesco for its hospitality and for serving the community during this past year. He gave a short talk to relate the story of the first Christmas to the present crisis, with a message of hope in the face of death. He explained that the baby Jesus was called Emmanuel, which means, ‘God with us’. He said, “God is with us right now. Right in the middle of family life, right in the middle of a pandemic, right in the middle of the heartache that many of you have been through. Here is someone to trust, someone who can help, someone we can celebrate.”
One guest said, “Thank you so much for bringing big smiles this year when Christmas has to be a bit different. This was true Christmas spirit.”