Carols and coffee as Cliff Park Community Church spread festive cheer

Great Yarmouth Junior Brass on stage at Gorleston Pavilion for the annual Carols and Coffee service

Great Yarmouth Junior Brass on stage at Gorleston Pavilion for the annual Carols and Coffee service conducted by Richard Ward - Credit: Archant

Cliff Park Community Church is heading out again for Christmas.

This Sunday will see the church off to the theatre as Gorleston Pavilion is taken over for the annual Carols and Coffee featuring the Great Yarmouth Junior Brass leading the singing.

The service starting at 10.30 always attracts a full house and people are asked to arrive in good time to ensure they get seats. Admission is free as are the coffee and mince pies. The carol service has been held at the theatre for the past six years but last year saw the inclusion for the first time of the church’s Open the Book Team. This year they tell the story of the Three Wise Men.

Cliff Park Junior School choir will also perform three songs conducted by Lorraine Manifold and the service will open with a reading from the directors of the Pavilion pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, broadcaster Helen McDermott and West End actor Des Barrit. Church members will ensure the theatre is tidied up and back to normal in time for the first of Sunday’s two performances of the pantomime – the first beginning at 2pm.

“We have a team standing by with hoovers to make sure any crumbs from mince pies and biscuits are cleaned up. The theatre always make us so welcome and we want to leave it as we find it,” said Cliff Park’s Tony Mallion who will host the service which will include a talk from the church minister the Rev. Mike Simm.

The service is also an opportunity to raise money for a good cause and this year the bucket collection at the end will be going to the Christian charity Tear Fund which is one of the many organisations working in the front line to help those affected by the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The following Sunday, December 21, will see the church in the open air with a carol service on The Mews, the small area of open space in the centre of the Cliff Park Estate. “There’s something about singing carols outside, even if it is cold. And maybe the fact that we served mulled wine and mince pies also helps,” said the Rev.Simm. The carol singing and short talk start at 5pm. Parking is available in the nearby Cliff Park Ormiston Academy High School. There will also be a morning Christmas Praise service at 10.30 on that day, led by the worship band and Lester Bullen, at the church’s usual home of Cliff Park Middle School in Orde Avenue.