Our guide to the celebrations taking place in the Village area.
Hands up if you can’t wait for Christmas! It doesn’t seem five minutes since we were writing this article last year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fully embrace the festive season in all its glory.
Our villages and towns will certainly be doing their bit to get us all in the mood, with twinkling lights and Christmas carols to bring the magic to residents of all ages.
Leading the pack this year is Barnt Green, which has its big lights switch-on event on Saturday November 30. Between 4 and 6pm, there will be entertainment from the youngsters of Star Project, while the lights themselves will be turned on by Santa himself. The village is also holding a shop window competition.
The following afternoon it’s Lickey’s turn to light up, with their event from 4–6pm at Holy Trinity Church – this includes a concert and the prize-giving for the parish council’s Christmas competition.
Blackwell is up next, with its festivities at 5.15pm on Friday December 6 at St Catherine’s Church. This will also feature prize-giving, and Santa will of course be in attendance.
On the same evening, Alvechurch launches its Christmas lights with a larger-than-usual gathering in the precinct from 5pm. An 80-strong choir from Alvechurch Middle School will open the event before Bromsgrove’s Town Crier flicks the switch around 5.20pm, followed by more music from Alvechurch Community Choir. The winner of the shop window display competition will also be revealed.
During the evening, the forecourt at Alvechurch Baptist Church will be lit, the church open, carols playing and mulled wine served to those passing by.
There should also be plenty of village houses decked out in lights this year, ready for the parish council’s annual competition. There are prizes for the best-decorated house or garden display, and for the best-decorated front door or window.
To enter, you must be in the parish and submit your entry to the parish office on George Road by midday on Friday December 20. Judging will take place on the evening of Monday December 23, with the results announced the following day.
The Village area offers lots more opportunities to join in with some community singing, with carol events and services taking place in multiple locations.
On Wednesday December 18 there’s a Carol Service at Rowney Green Village Hall from 6.30pm. Finstall Village Hall has Community Carols at 7pm on Friday December 20,with mulled Tardebigge Cider.
Cofton Hackett also offers Community Carols that evening at 6.30pm, followed by refreshments – meet at the bottom of Chestnut Drive by the Myhill Field.
Foundry, the new community service in Cofton Village Hall, has carols at 3pm on Sunday December 22, also with refreshments.
That’s also the date for the Oakalls and Parklands Christmas Community Carols, starting at 6.15pm with the Blackwell Concert Band playing on the open grassed area by the notice board and Trianon Road; followed by community carol singing at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be available to buy including mulled Tardebigge Cider, mince pies and candy floss; with glow sticks and sweets for the children. Father Christmas arrives at around 7pm.
Local churches have a raft of special services in the run-up to Christmas, as well as their Christmas Day celebrations. Here’s a selection:
Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight at St Bartholomew’s, Tardebigge is at 6pm on Sunday December 22, while St Mary’s at Bentley has its carol service at 9.30am on Sunday December 15.
St Leonard’s in Beoley has Informal Carols at 9.30am on Sunday 22 December followed by Traditional Candlelit Carols at 5.30pm, plus a Crib Service at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve.
Alvechurch Baptist Church is bidding farewell to Rev Fiona Lee, who takes her last services on Sunday December 15 – Advent at 10.30am, followed by a bring ‘n’ share lunch, and Carols by Candlelight at 6pm.
St Laurence in Alvechurch hosts Nine Lessons and Carols at 6pm on Sunday December 22, and Family Nativity Services on Christmas Eve at 4pm and 6pm.
St Mary’s RC Church in Alvechurch has an Advent Carol Service at 4pm on Sunday December 22, and Rowney Green Church offers a Family Crafty Christmas at 3pm on Sunday December 22.
St Michael’s at Cofton has its Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, with the Archdeacon of Birmingham, at 6pm on Sunday December 15.
On Christmas Eve, St Andrew’s in Barnt Green has a 3pm Nativity Service, a short and informal event ideal for under-fives. This is followed by Carols by Candlelight at 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Barnt Green Baptist Church offers a Family Nativity Service at 10.30am on Sunday December 22 ,followed by Carols and Candles at 6.30pm.
St Catherine’s in Blackwell has a Parish Carol Service followed by Mulled Wine and Mince Pies at 6pm on Sunday December 22, plus a Crib Service at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve, to which you are welcome to come dressed as an angel, shepherd, sheep or king. Earlier that afternoon, at 3pm, Holy Trinity Lickey has its Christingle service.
* Don’t forget that Barnt Green’s annual Wassail Walk, where participants wrap up warm and walk to a local orchard to enjoy mulled cider and wake the trees up with lots of noise, takes place on Friday December 27 – meet at 3pm in Millennium Park.