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Carols in the square

From Paul D

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Not sure why we have a square two thirds full of atheists making themselves feel better by singing stuff they don’t agree with every year. 

Was it better when only about 40 - 50 folk who believe in something and expressed that publicly showed up? Or is the current Hebfest event of hundreds (thousands?) now better by reason of loads more people  are here and singing stuff they don’t buy into? So is louder and is more better?

Why show up if you don’t believe in the God bit?  I’m not trying to offend anyone. Just curious. The more the better for me, but aren’t they mostly faking it? Like Hippies. Always getting off on somebody else’s culture and festivals, but never quite putting in the time and legwork? 

From Dave R

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Have to say, I agree with Paul D. 

The carols in the Square have now become a great big singalongachristmas. 

Packed in like sardines, with the scent of weed and cynicism drifting in the cold night air, the big sing has become commercialise d and pointless. 

As the ‘carollers’ hum along to a tune they only vaguely know, I half expect to have a big screen with the words on it to make an appearance. 

From Julie C

Monday, 24 December 2018

People enjoy the sense of community, togetherness, and anticipation of Christmas Day, of the event in the Square.

Whatever their spiritual leanings or lack of them, being huddled up with family and friends, in the darkness, bumping into neighbours and pals, having a go at singing the carols many of us remember fondly from childhood, listening to the band, that's a pleasure. 

Gatherings in midwinter like this predate Christianity. They are a manifestation of togetherness, the need to go beyond immediate family and friends. It's an event that's open to everyone from the Grinch to the godly, and all those in between. Happy Xmas all, and a happy and healthy New Year.

From Damian L

Monday, 24 December 2018

Well said Julie. What appallingly narrow and uninclusive comments. With that sort of Christian warmth it’s no wonder the churches are largely empty. I’m not a Christian myself but these views don’t seem very Christian to me, and are hardly likely to swell the flock. I only hope they were intended as ill judged humour or to provoke comment. 

From Dave R

Monday, 24 December 2018

I am a Christian, albeit not a church goer. 

My point in agreeing with Paul, was that to call an assembly a carol service, signifies a Christian gathering. 

In general, people are not gathering to thank the Christian God for the gift of a son, rather to get together, meet friends and sing. The carols therefore could be replaced by Slade and Jingle Bells, with no public outcry. 

This is great, but it’s a bit like only going to church once a year when it’s decorated all prettily and candle lit. 

Call it a Community Winter Get Together and it would be more appropriate. That’s all. 

From David H

Monday, 24 December 2018

Yes, a “Community Winter Get Together” sounds good. A celebration to mark the passing of the shortest days of the year when the Sun starts to turn, and of Yule - celebrations which long precede Xmas. The current singalong is a bit too Christiany for me. There are lots of good seasonal songs which are not to do with virgin births!

From Andy M

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

 I was asked...no required...to 'buy into it' for years at school, Scouts, various other societal norms  etc so, to be honest, I would have no qualms about singing the odd ironic carol nowadays. 

However, it's not ironic; they're good tunes and everyone's seems to be enjoying it, so a result I'd say. 

From Nitch T

Thursday, 27 December 2018

 I hoped for something a little like the peace choir with some classic carols but also some more modern songs maybe from around the world for us to sing. I really enjoyed the coming together but did struggle with some of the verses as I didn't feel comfortable singing things I dont believe. 

In hindsight I think I focussed more on the coming together rather than the carols and their explicit christianity in deciding to attend as this is not my spirituality. I support people of faith coming together too and would not want to inadvertently hijack an intentional christian event so probably may not attend again. Not wanting to offend here. 

I would really welcome something like the previous poster suggested of a getting together. Could there be room for both?

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 27 December 2018

There’s some serious over-thinking going on here. It’s a traditional carol singalong. You know what you’re going to get - familiar, crowd-pleasing (or should that be crowd-enabling?) tunes. Anything unfamiliar would kill it. There’s no need to believe the words, feel compromised by them or even know them. Enjoy it for what it is or give it a miss.

From Gideon Foster

Monday, 31 December 2018

Christianity has its roots in Paganism , as do most other mainstream religions.

I would have to contend that it was organised religion gatecrashing the party, rather than the other way round!

The one thing it does prove is that Music is far more effective at bringing people together than religion .

From Paul D

Monday, 31 December 2018

Some great ideas. Next year we could have a nice warming winter festival event with a medley of Slade and similar winter related songs, followed by a tubular bells type pagan jig about, then finally some carols. You could opt in or out of each strand or stay for them all. 

It’d be fab. Inclusive. And so very Hebden Bridge. I’d do all three.