THE World Carol Singing Record was smashed on Sunday, December 18th, when more than 18,000 people across the UK united to sing a programme of festive favourites.
Among them were regular worshippers at Clitheroe Community Church, along with members of the local community who answered a call to join them in singing the classic carols “Silent Night”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, and “Away in a Manger”.
By 9-30 p.m. that evening the organisers, Premier Christian Radio, had received word that 17,117 participants had been counted at churches around the country, beating the existing record of 15,000 singers – set in 2009 by Disney – and with 57 churches still to declare their attendance.
Peter Kerridge, of Premier Christian Radio, said: “It’s inspiring to see so many people across the whole of the UK get on board for this record breaking attempt.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and has brought people out to celebrate and really be a part of the spirit of Christmas. As far as we can tell with these initial figures, we’ve broken the record! We hope to get the rubber stamp from Guinness in the next few months.”
The rules for the attempt were very strict, and the proceedings at Clitheroe Community Church were overseen by two independent witnesses, and recorded on video and still photographs. All the evidence is then returned to Guinness, before the record can be confirmed.
The Clitheroe event also included contributions by some of the Community Church groups, one of which was a play by the children, entitled “The Christmas Postman”. Two year-old Thomas Harris delivered letters on his scooter to well-known Bible characters to tell the story of God’s plan for the birth of Jesus.
Mark Woodward, the minister, summed up the evening: “It was encouraging to have such good participation by the local community, who helped to create a great atmosphere. Thank you to everyone who took part in breaking the world record and in celebrating Christ at Christmas.”