WOW!!! what a fantastic evening. More than 1200 people were treated to an evening of traditional carols as well as a drama production that put an innovative twist on the Nativity.
This was a joint partnership event between Bolton Christian Community Cohesion and Bolton Wanders Football Club. The Chairman of Bolton Wanderers, Phil Garside and Fabrice Muamba both attended the event which was broadcast between 6 and 7 a.m. on Christmas morning on Tower FM 107.4. If you missed it you can hear it on playback on the Bolton Wanderers website.
Bolton Wanderers Chaplain Phil Mason explained: “It was a really good evening and we were absolutely delighted that so many fans were able to come along.” The mass choir, led by Robert Aston, and the local school children in Bolton Junior Youth Choir (under the baton of Sue Wilding), led the Carols. Both choirs were terrific and very popular with the mass audience. Craig Mann and his brass band colleagues provided accompaniment.
There was also a drama piece that was very different. It was written by Geoff Millard who was the Artistic Director of both this event and The Passion for Bolton 2011. The crowds were asked to imagine what it would be like if the birth of Jesus had not happened in the traditional setting long ago, but in a modern day football stadium. Joseph was a footballer, Mary was a WAG, the shepherds were the football supporters, and the three wise men were football managers from different clubs all looking for the new Messi. Instead they found the Messiah.
There was a strong Interfaith presence and the Young Interfaith Ambassadors assisted with the stewarding. The Bishop of Bolton, led the blessing at the end of the evening on behalf of the Patrons for the Passion.
Our thanks to Bolton Wanderers, Bolton Junior Youth Choir and all our volunteers.