Friday 6th December
St. Petroc’s Carol Service, Truro Cathedral

Pipers: Nigel, Alex, Rob, Stuart, Ian, Chris, David, Tom G

Snare – James, Geoff, Tom W
Tenor – Andrew, Fred
Bass: Keith I

The Band Members had all but arrived in the Kernow Club of the British Legion by 18.00 hours and the sound of the pipes and drums soon filled the upstairs room as they practised. By 18.45 hours the eight pipers and six drummers arrived at the Cathedral which looked amazing in the soft glow of golden floodlights. There was the usual light decorated Christmas tree surrounded by colourful street lighting. At 18.55 hours the Mayor of Truro and Deputy Lord Lieutenant were received at the West door and escorted to their seats.

19.00 hours and the Band entered the building by a side door to lead the procession of Bishops and Clergy down the centre aisle to the Nave of the Cathedral as they played Rainbow Country and Bluebells of Scotland. There followed the Welcome and Introduction by Canon Perran Gay, Precentor and The Bishop of St Germans, President of St Petroc’s Society. Both of these commented in their speeches that this was the first time they had been led into the cathedral by a Pipe Band. There was enthusiastic applause by the congregation for the Kernow Band’s performance.

The Congregation stood and sang “Once in royal David’s city”  and there were prayers.  The children of Bosvigo School then sang two carols and the First Reading was read out followed by the carol “Away in a manger”. After the Second Reading songs were sung by Nanstallon School and “A Homeless Man” by Francis Duggan was read. This was followed by personal stories of homeless people in the local community.  An Address was made by The Chief Executive of St Petroc’s Society during which reference was made to the sad recent passing of Nelson Mandelo.

The Band formed and played Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral – it was beautiful, the sound filling the Cathedral reaching into the far corners and heights of the building. After the perfect finish there was more applause.

The Vice-President of St Petroc’s Society said the Prayers of Intercession during which the Bishop of Plymouth was mentioned with good wishes for his retirement.  A collection was made in aid of the work carried out by St Petroc’s Society. After the carol “Hark! the herald-angels sing” was sung, the congregation remained standing and the Bishop of Plymouth and the Vice President of St Petroc’s Society led the prayer over the Anniversary Candle and the lighting of the seven candles followed. There was then a blessing by the Bishop of St German and the Candle Procession departed and the Clergy Procession followed.

Refreshments were offered afterwards in the rear of the Cathedral and some of the Band stayed while others went to the Kernow Club. Before they departed there was a brief photo-shoot outside with two lady members of the St Petroc’s Society.

The Carol Service had been an uplifting experience, the speeches had been interesting, and the stories of the homeless heart-rending. The children’s choirs had been a joy to listen to and the Band had made a good lasting impression with their outstanding music in wonderful acoustics!

Later, we had the following response from Linda Binny of St Petroc’s:

“Thank you so much to everyone at Kernow Pipes and Drums for taking part in our Carol Service at Truro Cathedral.  Your rendition of Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral was wonderful, it made a memorable occasion for not only everyone at St Petroc’s, but the whole congregation.

“Our President Bishop Christopher Goldsmith and two Vice Presidents, Bishop Christopher Budd and Revd Steven Wild, were enthralled with being led to their seats by the unique sound of the bagpipes and the gentle tappoing of the drums. It was such a magical moment for all who attended the service.”