Medieval Christmas carol service for brewery

A Kirk minister and a Scottish Episcopal priest have teamed up with a brewery to host a medieval carol service.

Rev Dan Harper and Rev Jo Mulliner hope that the Wassailing celebration of Christmas event, dubbed Folk Carols in the Brewery, will help get people into the festive spirit.

Bridge of Allan Parish Church
Getting into the Christmas spirit - Rev Dan Harper and Rev Jo Mulliner

It is being held in the bar at Allanwater Brewhouse in Bridge of Allan near Stirling on December 22 at 6.30pm.

Mr Harper, minister of Bridge of Allan Parish Church, said he and Ms Mulliner of nearby St Saviour’s Church were excited about the wider community coming together.

Wassail is the ancient custom of people going door-to-door, singing and offering a drink from the wassail bowl in exchange for gifts – a practice that has been largely replaced by carolling.

The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase 'waes hael', which means 'good health'.

Originally wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar.

When Grace comes to town

Douglas Ross, founder of Allanwater Brewhouse, will provide people with mulled cider, or apple juice, when they arrive to sing unusual carols and enjoy recitals of festive poetry.

While many carols on the programme will not be well known, there are a few well kent songs including Jingle Bells and Ding Dong Merrily on High.

Mr Harper said: “It will be an evening of festive fun for all the community, reaching beyond where Church normally goes to celebrate that light overcomes darkness when grace comes to town.”

People unable to attend will be able to enjoy it online as it is being live streamed on the Sanctuary First website.

The virtual church is led by Very Rev Albert Bogle, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who is attending the event and will offer a reflection on the spirit of Christmas.

The love that came down at Christmas

Mr Harper said: “It is a pleasure to be able to celebrate Christmas with our good friends and neighbours from St Saviour’s Church, as well as Sanctuary First and the Allanwater Brewhouse.

“We will all celebrate and being able to do that together is a really special thing, showing that whatever way we look to God we can all share in rejoicing at the love that came down at Christmas.”