CHRISTMAS AT DOWNSIDE
15 Dec 2021
On the last day of the Michaelmas Term we were delighted to celebrate Christmas at Downside with so many families and Old Gregorians.
There was a healthy amount of fierce competitiveness (as well as plenty of good-humour) for the Christmas Dash in the morning. As the runners sped round the course, the eaters ‘enjoyed’ speed-eating chocolate-covered brussels sprouts, cream crackers and satsumas. Isabella won the Dash for the girls and Smythe for the boys, who were also the overall victors.
The Fair was a welcome return to Christmas at Downside. We had a super collection of stalls selling a range of locally-produced and sustainable products including clothing, food, gin, hampers, homeware and Christmas gifts. The pupils’ stall raised £143.20 for our three charities: Root Connections, Help for Homeless and the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance. As well as a chance to shop for gifts, Fair goers clearly enjoyed mingling with other parents, families and OGs. Our thanks go to all our stallholders and everyone involved in making the Fair a success.
The Carol Service in Downside Abbey Church is the highlight of the last day of term. To be able to celebrate our faith – and the festive season – in such a magnificent setting is something we don’t take for granted. The Mixed Chamber Choir opened the Service with Rorate caeli desuper. The Schola’s repertoire included the Nativity Carol (Rutter), O holy night (Adam) and O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Handel). The Boys’ and Girls’ Chamber Choir both performed, and readings came from the Heads of School and Sixth Form pupils. Hymns for the congregation to join in with included O come, O come Emmanuel and Hark! The herald-angels sing.