Guildford's St Peter and St Paul church tops UK carol service list

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By mattcollison | Friday, December 14, 2012, 10:33

THERE are no seats, it's a bit on the drafty side and rather old - but that has not stopped a Guildford church topping the list for best carol services in Britain this year.

Church of St Peter and St Paul, in Albury, Guildford, was favoured above the famous Kings College Choir to celebrate festive songs in a study by The Independent newspaper.

The ancient Saxon church's traditional candlelit carols also beat the services at the Royal Albert Hall, York Minster, Durham Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle.

Will Coldwell of The Independent wrote:  "Wrap up warm to hear carols in this ancient church. Mulled wine and mince pies should help keep you toasty, though."

Daphne Foulsham, who helps run the church, said:  "t's a lovely start to the village Christmas but it's totally, totally different. You can't compare it  because this is just villagers enjoying their Christmas together.

"This is a small, lovely old Saxon church and it's candlelit and we have mince pies and mulled wine afterwards but there is nothing sophisticated about it at all.

"People who don't come to church otherwise come to this service. It's the beginning of their Christmas."

Mrs Foulsham said helpers were anxiously preparing for a bumper crowd after the church, which is vested in the Churches Conservation Trust, topped the list.

She said: "We are terrified. We usually have up to 300 people but it's quite a squash at that so I don't know what will happen if we suddenly get many more.

"There's no heating and you have to stand but we are all used to it. It's lovely in the snow but it's cold, it's an old stone church."    

The church holds its candelit carol service on December 23. Entry is free. More information is available by calling 01483 202594 or at visitchurches.org.uk

      

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