Friends' Swim, Tea Party and Candlelit Carol Service at St. Brides

The annual Christmas tea party took place last December in the stunning setting, once again, of St Bride’s Castle, with the kind permission of the Holiday Property Bond. More than fifty people – Friends, their guests, and those staying at the castle, – gathered in the castle library. Christmas decorations and the beautiful tree all brought about a festive ambience, and the tea table groaned with delights and delicacies, provided by those who came. This event is the most popular Friends’ event throughout the year, and it gives members the opportunity to meet and catch up, as well as to enjoy the wonderful surroundings of the National Park at the start of the Christmas season.

For the first time, the beautiful, heated, indoor swimming pool was made available by the Holiday Property Bond for the Friends to use. Several were brave enough, despite the cold outside, to take full advantage of this unique opportunity, and after all that exercise, doubtless felt able to fill their plates at the tea party with clear consciences!

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The annual Carol Service followed the tea party and was held, as usual, in the nearby, candlelit St. Bridget’s Church, beside the beautiful, sandy cove of St Bride’s Haven. John Potter, who played the organ, organised a series of readings and carols. Father Andrew Johnson, rector of St Bridget’s, presided, and welcomed everyone to his ancient and historic church, which was full. The singing was magnificent and the readings were delivered with clarity and confidence by members of the congregation. The generous retiring collection amounted to almost two hundred pounds for the church funds. Many thanks to all those involved with supplying the food for the tea party, and for taking part in the Service, making this event such a special part of the Christmas celebrations.

Caroline Potter