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It’s been a longstanding and much-loved tradition for St Gerard’s to host a carol service at Bangor Cathedral. Sadly, we were unable to do so twelve months ago due to COVID restrictions, so staff and students alike were excited at the prospect of being able to bring the community together in song once again this year – it really is a joyous way to begin the festivities!

Mrs Lackenby and her team across both Senior and Junior schools worked hard behind the scenes to put together a delightful programme which featured solos, full choral efforts and even British Sign Language across a range of festive favourites and newer pieces.

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We know that many grandparents and other family members also enjoy the services but are unable to attend this year. We’re delighted to be able to provide a link to a recording of the service, which was conducted by Rev Canon Tracy Jones.

Carol Service 1

Carol Service 2

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Here are a few words about the carol service over the years from our former headteacher, Miss Anne Parkinson:

 

“The carol service has a long tradition at St Gerard’s, stretching back well before my arrival in 1991. It may have originated at the former Catholic church in Bangor High Street before transferring to the cathedral, which, for the event in normal times, has been filled every year with parents, grand-parents, former students, teachers and friends of the school as well, of course, as the school body itself. Many students have given outstanding performances over the years and the junior school’s contributions have stolen the show!

Originally an evening event, it moved in the early 1990s to its present slot, fittingly marking the end of the autumn term and setting the tone for the Christmas season, proving to be a highlight of the school year for so many.

From time to time, a little hiccough, or two, has occurred behind the scenes, such as the occasion when the cathedral microphones kept tuning into the radio frequency of the local taxi services and another, panicky occasion when the taxi which dropped Mr Harrison and me off outside the cathedral motored off swiftly on an airport call with all the service programmes in its boot!! The ever-reliable Mrs Sauter saved the day that time, as she has often done.

Despite such ‘churning’ moments, so amusing to look back on, the carol service has always induced pride and joy and a warm sense of community. This year was particularly special after the Covid hiatus and the school did itself proud through all the difficulties the year must have brought.  Long may this tradition continue in its historic venue where the cathedral chapter extends us a warm welcome.”

Carol Service 3

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