Christmas 2016?

I thought that a few of you could be mildly interested in what we (as a small English Methodist Chapel) managed to do this year. As I've mentioned before, all of our Christmastime fundraising is for the charity "Action For Children", which, in the olden days, was called "The National Children's Homes".
Traditionally (well, for at least 100 years) we've gone out at Christmas (until just 20 years or so ago, we started at midnight on Christmas Eve) to sing Christmas Carols around the locality, at either houses or groups of houses where we had been especially invited. Mostly by members or associates of the Chapel. We now start and finish earlier, this year we met at 18.15hrs and sang till about 01.00, if I remember correctly.
Being one who just loves to sing, and especially Christian hymns and songs, I haven't missed a year since I was converted in 1967. Nowadays, we have expanded the boundaries of our "catchment" area and have resorted to using transport in the form of a mini-bus (kindly donated by Kingsley's Coaches of Washington) to whisk us around an area which we could never have achieved on foot, (while carrying the small pedal organ which used to be carried about the village).
This year, on the night, we collected £660 which included some pre-payments from people who would be in bed before we got to them. The dreaded "social media" of facebook has been beneficial, in that some of our listeners have passed on their delight to others whom we didn't previously know, and to whom we now sing! We also sing, by telephone, to a number of friends who have emigrated to foreign parts, including (I believe) Australia and America!
In addition to the Carol Singing, we also hold a "Community Carol Service" with sweet mince pies and hot and cold beverages, on the last Monday before Christmas (it also includes an hilarious 3 minute pantomime) the collection from which is added to the Carol Singing money.
This year, I plucked up the courage to try to do a bit of busking outside of our local Tesco supermarket. After enquiring with the manager and him making all the arrangements with his area superiors, it only depended on me not losing heart! After failing to step up to the mark for two days, I eventually went along (it only being 200 yards from our house) and made a terrifying start. Happily, within minutes, people were readily dropping pound coins or bits of change into my box, whilst wishing me a "Merry Christmas", and I found that I was really enjoying myself! I did 5 spells of about 30 minutes each over the next couple of days, and, to my astonishment, raised £107.58p, which was also added to the Action For Children mix. We sent them a total of over £1000, which we (and they) were delighted with.
There are some "you tubes" of the various events on You Tube, which I'm sure can be found by searching on there for the channel of my infamous brother Richard Jennings. Have fun!

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