Some events only happen at Christmas time and we’ve been involved with many this week.
The music events included my mayoral charity concert of seasonal music by The Elgar Chorale conducted by Malcolm Macleod, with readings by Sir Roy Strong, Gabrielle Bullock and Tim Watson. Over 100 people enjoyed a great evening of entertainment and helped raise money for my charities.
Next day, Worcester Festival Chorus performed Handel’s Messiah in the Cathedral, which is such a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas.
The Royal Grammar School and Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College both invited us to their carol services and their very talented choristers, musicians and readers produced outstanding performances.
Other Christmas events were about caring for disadvantaged Worcester people. We helped Rotary pack and deliver food parcels to around 500 mainly elderly residents.
St Paul’s Church laid on a free Christmas meal for disadvantaged residents living nearby. This took place in a magical location – the church had been transformed into Narnia by a large-scale decorating effort and skilful lighting.
The first ever Mayor’s Christmas Banquet for the Homeless and Disadvantaged took place on Tuesday, and I was delighted to welcome about 80 guests into the Assembly Room at the Guildhall. Kristen Barone, the YMCA’s chef, produced a magnificent turkey lunch with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Waitrose generously donated all the vegetables and puddings. A music quartet, organised by Food Bank manager Grahame Lucas, provided the entertainment. It was great to see so many smiling, happy faces from people facing real challenges in their lives.
On Thursday, we visited Royal Mail’s delivery office in Wainwright Road where our very hard-working posties ensure we get our cards and parcels before Christmas Day.
In the evening, the mayor had a night off and Santa Claus toured Tolladine on the Lions Club’s sleigh – there is no obvious connection between these two facts!