Diocese of Portsmouth

    Worshippers wow Gunwharf shoppers with carol concert

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    17 Dec. 2018

    WORSHIPPERS from Harbour Church wowed late-night shoppers with a two-hour blast of live Christmas music.

    Musicians including guitarists, drummers and vocalists led up to 700 people in singing traditional Christmas carols and modern festive classics in a joyful two-hour singalong.

    Worshippers dressed in Santa hats, scarves and Christmas jumpers mingled with Christmas shoppers for the event - the first time that Harbour Church had been asked to lead carols in the shopping centre. The church has recently relocated its main Sunday morning service from a refurbished department store in Commercial Road to St George’s Church in Portsea, opposite Gunwharf Quays.

    Members of the crowd were able to vote for the festive tunes they wanted to sing, from traditional carols to Mariah Carey’s modern-day classic All I Want For Christmas is You and Wham’s Last Christmas. And both worshippers and shoppers belted out the songs with real gusto.

    The curate of Harbour Church, the Rev Matt Bray, who led the band and helped stage the gig, said, “It was a stunning success – and we’d love to do it again next year. Christmas comes at the darkest time of year. So we wanted to bring a little bit of light to things.”

    Harbour Church was originally created by a core group of 20 people who moved from St Peter’s Church, Brighton, to set up a new congregation in Portsmouth city centre, which would appeal to students and young people. Their first Sunday services happened in September 2016, and within two years it was attracting 500 regular worshippers.

    The main congregation became too large for their original premises in Commercial Road, which meant their Sunday morning service moved to St George’s. They also run a family service on Sunday afternoons in St Alban’s Church, Copnor, and an evening service aimed specifically at younger people in Commercial Road.

    For more photos of the event, click here.

    Musicians from Harbour Church lead the crowd in singing carols
    Worshippers turned up in Santa hats to sing along
    The open-air carol service coincided with late-night shopping at Gunwharf Quays

    Harbour Church, Portsmouth

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