St Macartanís Cathedral, Clogher was once again the venue for the annual Clogher Community Carol Service. This year the chosen charity was Cancer Focus NI. Over 500 people packed the cathedral for this popular event which this year included the switching on of the new Christmas Lights provided by the Clogher Traders Association and Clogher Womenís Institute. A representative from each of the four schools taking part assisted the Rector, The Revd Canon Noel Regan, and the Revd Alistair Warke to switch on the lights before the service began.
The Service was a traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols which was preceded by festive drinks and refreshments. The lessons, telling the story of the worldís redemption, were read by Fiona Wilson, Mary McCaffrey, Conor McCaughey, Maeve Wilson, Ciaran McKenna, Sylvia Lucy, Avril Robson, Ruth Warke and the Dean of Clogher, the Very Revd Kenneth Hall. The Christmas Collect was read by the Revd Canon Lawrence Dawson PP and the blessing was given by the Bishop of Clogher, The Rt Revd John McDowell. Mrs Diane Whittaker, Cathedral organist, played the organ to lead the congregational singing.
The four local primary schools, St Macartanís Primary, Clogher, Carntall Primary, Augher Central Primary and St Brigidís Primary, Augher helped to lead the praise with songs and musical pieces. They were assisted by Yahweh Nisi and the Clogher Guides and Brownies. Over 150 children and young people took part in the service. The choir of St Macartanís Church sang three anthems and to end the service they were joined in harmony by the members of the choirs of St Macartanís Cathedral Group of Parishes to jointly lead an inspirational singing of Silent Night.
Following the service Mrs Fiona Wilson, Chairperson of the local Augher and Clogher Cancer Focus Group thanked all who had taken part and who had helped to plan and organise the service. Canon Noel Regan joined in the thanks and spoke of the importance of the community coming together to worship and the appropriateness of the venue which was part of the common heritage of all in the community. There was a very positive reaction to the service from all who attended with many valuing the opportunity to meet and worship with their friends and neighbours in a common cause and in support of a charity which does such splendid work throughout the whole community irrespective of religion or denomination. The collection at the service amounted to over £1,200.