A traditional civic service for Great Yarmouth

A SHORTER, more traditional civic service marked the festive season as many braved chilly conditions in Great Yarmouth’s St Nicholas Church.

Last night at 7pm assorted dignitaries including town mayor Michael Jeal were led by the Winterton Marine Cadets band into the church from the nearby Priory Centre for an hour of religious and secular celebration.

And for the second season running the mayor was joined by the High Sheriff of Norfolk, who this year is Charles Barratt.

Alongside the Bishop of Thetford Rev Dr Alan Winton, who read the sermon, Mr Barratt enjoyed the company of 400 other seasonal well-wishers many of whom were in good voice.

Laura Goodman, civic events officer for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “It was absolutely lovely and a traditional service, with readings and carols.

“The Marine Cadets came in playing songs like Rudolph and Jingle Bells, and then everyone got involved with older carols like Come all Ye Faithful and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Also in attendance were High Court judges Peter Jacobs and Anthony Bate, while team rector for the Great Yarmouth Team Ministry Rev Chris Terry led the readings.

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And it was once proceedings had finished that those involved were able to tuck into a selection of mulled wine and selection of food.

Mr Jeal, who dictated the style of the event, said: “I like the more traditional services myself, and it went really well.

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself, whether it was the carol singing or the mince pies.”

Last year, the two and a half hour civic service had involved entertainment from The Jolly Rogers and Dusmagrik among others.

To see more pictures from the civic service, get a copy of the Mercury, which is out on Friday.