Nearly 300 people gathered at the City Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Cardiff on Friday 14th December to celebrate the story of Christmas and to raise vital finds for The St John Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group.
Guests were welcomed to the service by The Reverend Sarah Jones and celebrated the Lord through song and prayer.
The service included lessons which were read by:
HM Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan and President of the St John Council for Wales, Mrs Morfudd Meredith;
Prior for Wales, Sir Paul Williams;
David Hugh Thomas
Chancellor of the Priory for Wales, Gareth Chapman
Hospitaller and Almoner of the Priory for Wales, Dr Akram Baig
Bailiff of St David’s, Miss Gwyneth Rees
The Hospitaller and Almoner of the Priory for Wales, Dr Akram Baig made an appeal for donations for the Eye Hospital, followed by prayers.
13-year-old Cadet Corporal Joshua Mainwaring from St John Cymru Loughor, also read a poem he wrote about the Eye Hospital as part of the Grand Prior’s Award:
Living in the West Bank, Jamila is three
Pain in her eye, unable to see
Her mother consoles her as she cries through the night
Fear and worry, is her constant plight
Each day is a hardship, to try and stay strong
Her poor little daughter, has suffered so long
With tears on her face, all crumpled with pain
How she wishes to see, her child smile again
A mobile outreach clinic has arrived near by
Doctors and nurses with medical supplies
Ophthalmologists to treat, help and to care
Thank you to St John, you have answered my prayer
At the main hospital, an operation was needed
Her prognosis was good, expectations exceed
No longer in pain, her sight’s been restored
Those heal care professionals, deserve an award
We have to raise money to help those in need
The fundraising continues if we want to succeed
The donations we give play a vital role
In helping the eye hospital achieve that goal
There was a wealth of music from across Wales at the event which saw the Cambrian Male Voice Choir and Accompanist Brian James, conducted by Fred Nicholas, return for a second year.
Other musical talent included:
Roath Park Primary School Choir, conducted by Musical Director, Richard Lewis who also returned for a second year.
St John Cymru Griffithstown Badger and Cadet Choir, conducted by Musical Director, Rebecca Jolliffe
Vocal soloist, Jeremy Huw Williams
Funds raised from the evening will help go towards sustaining the delivery of sight-saving services in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
If you would like to find out more about supporting the St John Eye Hospital Group's Emergency Appeal, please contact St John Cymru Fundraising.
Here are a few of our favourite snapshots from the evening:
See the full album on our Facebook page here: St John Cymru