“Hills of the North, rejoice …”, Ever since my schooldays, the sound of these opening words and music has heralded the start of Advent.
Growing up in the North West of England not far from the Pennine Hills, it seemed to me that this lovely Advent hymn was speaking directly to me. At school we would be making Advent decorations with coloured tissue paper that looked like stained glass windows when the light shone through them.
In the choir we would be practicing hard for the highlight of our Advent season, the Carol Service at St Ann’s Church in central Manchester. Always held on the last Monday before Christmas, it is still a feature of Manchester High School life.
And of course on Blue Peter, Auntie Val Singleton, John Noakes and Peter Purves would be lighting another Advent candle during the final four programmes leading up to Christmas.
The joy of being a Curate is that now it’s me lighting that extra candle each week as we celebrate the four Sundays in Advent. I’m already feeling the excitement and anticipation of Christ’s coming into the world. I hope you are too.
– Revd Sarah Keen, Programme manager for Rural Hope