Iconic ‘Carols on the Square’ Christmas Eve event in Northamptonshire village cancelled

Organisers have come up with an alternative so residents can still enjoy festivities

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 12:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 12:53 pm

An iconic village Christmas Eve event has been cancelled due to the pandemic and the current rules surrounding gatherings.

‘Carols on the Square’, held in Earls Barton, is full of festivities including readings from different churches, brass bands and fireworks.

Residents are usually invited to spend Christmas Eve with fellow locals and join in with singing carols.

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Thousands of people turned up for the service last year.

However this year, Churches Together, the organiser of the event, has made the decision to cancel the festivities due to a number of factors surrounding the pandemic.

John Rees, music director for the event and the Methodist church, said: “This was not any easy decision and it was not taken lightly, but we’ve had growing crowds and last year there were around 2,500 to 3,000 people there.

“With the current rule of six, 3,000 people is just a bit beyond that.

“We also rely on a road closure and we’re not sure we would be granted one.

“Residents come to the square to sing, but that is one thing the Government is sure about, that singing should not be taking place.

“The event was looking bleak to put it mildly. We felt we had no option and it is with great regret, but we have to cancel it.”

Instead of the usual event, organisers have come up with an alternative so that residents can get their dose of festivities on Christmas Eve.

At 8pm, locals will be asked to stand on their doorstep, much like they did with Clap for Carers, to sing Silent Night.

John added: “This is not forever.

“We’re hoping next year we can put on an event even if it’s in the summer. Then of course we will hope to hold Carols on the Square at Christmas 2021.”

The organisation also hosts a number of other events throughout the year, including a remembrance service, which has also been cancelled.

It is hoped that a live stream will be set up for the event so people do not have to leave their homes to pay their respects.

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