Over 1000 people are expected to attend a community Christmas event and carol concert on Portswood Rec on Sunday 11th December.
Now in its third year, Carols on the Rec is an open air Christmas event organised by three local churches – Highfield, Portswood and St Denys – in order for the local community to come together to celebrate Christmas.
Volunteers from the three churches will create a festive atmosphere on Portswood Rec with a brass band, Christmas carols, free food, drink and glowsticks as well as a large traditional tree, fairy lights and lanterns.
Carols on the Rec is open to everyone, and this year the organisers are working with local street artist Curtis Hylton to bring the Christmas story to new audiences. Curtis has painted five scenes from the Christmas story onto large panels which will be displayed at Carols on the Rec. A short film of Curtis painting each panel will be shown as the story depicted is told in a voiceover, expressing the wider significance of the story.
Pupils from seven local schools are also taking part in an art competition coinciding with Carols on the Rec. The pupils have been challenged to paint or draw their version of one of the Curtis’s scenes and to put themselves in the picture. Entries have been shortlisted and winning pictures will be displayed in shops along Portswood High Street in the run up to Carols on the Rec alongside photographs of Curtis’ work.
Sammy Jordan, Children and Families Pastor at Highfield Church who helped organise the event, said:
“Carols on the Rec is a wonderful Southampton event and we’ve been so encouraged by the response we’ve had in previous years. It’s fantastic to have an opportunity to celebrate as a community, but we realise that so many people, especially children, don’t know the Christmas story anymore. Whether people subscribe to a faith or not, the Christmas story is an important story which has influenced our world and so we want to tell the story in a new, relevant and engaging way. So this year we’re asking everyone to come along, join in with the carol singing and enjoy a free mince pie!”
Carols on the Rec is organised by volunteers from three local churches working together. It has been made possible by the support of many local businesses within the community including the local Waitrose, which has donated £1,000, along with dozens of mince pies!
Carols on the Rec is taking place on Portswood Rec on Sunday 11th December, 4.30-5.30pm, and everyone is welcome.