Around 400 people enjoyed a YMCA Norfolk carol service at Norwich’s Anglican Cathedral last night (December 13).
The congregation enjoyed Christmas music from the Cawston Brass Band, singing from the Alpington and Bergh Apton Church of England Primary School Choir and from the Huff ‘n’ Puff woodwind ensemble, based in Alpington.
YMCA Norfolk CEO, Tim Sweeting, said: “Christmas is a fantastic time of hope and bringing hope is a key part of the YMCA’s role across our county. We are here to bring hope through a safe and secure home.
“We are here to offer someone to come alongside and befriend and support those who need us and we are here to offer hope to fulfil potential in body, mind and spirit.”
The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James, spoke about the Christmas story: “The story of the birth of Christ is one of messy and unforeseen events. Mary’s pregnancy is unplanned, there is an unwelcome journey to Bethlehem for the census, there is trouble getting accommodation on arrival. It is all a muddle.
“But God does not wait for us to get our lives into shape before Christ is born. The Saviour enters a distracted world – we don’t have to sort things out first,” he said.
“The work of the YMCA is not for those who have got their lives sorted out. It is for those who lives are frequently very messy, who need support, friendship and a room to call their own and a helping hand along the way.
“Jesus was born in a dangerous time, in a messy way with confusion all around and yet this was the pivotal moment in human history. It was God changing history,” said Bishop Graham.
“When you realise yourself that your life is messy, it may be the discovery of what God intends for you. For he intends to reveal to you that he loves each one of you so much that it’s as if no one else had ever been created.”