Carols by Candlelight (prep)

Mark and I spent around eight hours sorting things out in church today getting ready for this year’s Carols by Candlelight service. Past years (pics here) have involved multiple screens, live drama, simulated, dramatised and slightly disturbing ‘birth scene’, large choirs, soloists, specially written songs, and videos. Over the years we gradually increased the use of technology, from one PC running long and complicated powerpoint presentations to… well, tomorrow we will have four operators running sound, visuals and lighting with:

3 PCs, 1 Mac, 4 DVD players, 2 Video Mixers, 3 projectors, 2 video monitors, 8 preview monitors, 4 video amplifiers of various sizes, a 8×8 video Matrix, lots of cables, 4 Scans, 4 Dichroic lights, 12 other lights, digital lighting desk, dimmers, and a pile of stuff I can’t remember and some effects I don’t want to spoil ahead of time and I haven’t even included audio.

Christmas DVD BTW: those specially recorded Christmas Dramatised Readings filmed in and around Glasgow for St Silas Carols by Candlelight two years ago are now available on DVD from DeepRiver – and at ‘all good bookshops’.  By ‘all good bookshops’ I actually mean Wesley Owen Glasgow, who agreed to stock 10 DVDs as a trial. Also, as we didn’t do this till a week or so ago it is probably too late for anyone organising a Carol Service and I don’t think we will sell many.

So what do we have planned for this year’s carol service? I am giving nothing away!

It is difficult to get a perspective on things like this when you are so involved (which is why I am often asking people what they think of Deeper). I hope that there is a ‘buzz’ about the carol service. One of the tricky things when we get together to plan this service (and I suppose Deeper in a slightly different way) is trying to do something new while keeping the look and feel of the service so that regulars Silas-ites will grow to trust the service and be confident inviting friends – know what to expect.  Also, we talk about not wanting to do a one off, pull out all the stops event that doesn’t reflect what church is like week in week out.

We will find out soon enough.  Tomorrow is the final set up, rehearsals, technical run through, catering people getting things ready, stewards welcoming and keeping us safe, Jenny getting all the singers and musicians organised, and David finding something new to say about God becoming human.

But the really exciting thing is… will people bring friends?  Will folk from the community come in due to the hand delivered invites?  What will God do tomorrow?

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