Weekend Ticket: Church invites community to downtown caroling Friday

Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018


NATCHEZ — Members of First Presbyterian Church in Natchez love to raise their voices, the Rev. Joan Gandy said, especially around Christmas.

Now the church has started a tradition of welcoming the community to join them in song.

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Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, the Natchez community can join a band of carolers and musicians as they walk the two blocks from the Main Street Christmas tree to the church on State Street, bringing their voices and instruments with them.

Gandy said the church started the tradition last year before she became the pastor, with about 60 people in attendance.

“It was a cold night, I’m told,” she said. “The church didn’t have a pastor to preach a sermon … so they decided to sing carols instead. They gathered in front of the church to sing carols and invited people in.”

Gandy said the church decided to expand its reach further out into the community by starting on Main Street instead of the church steps and welcoming anyone to jump in the group as they wish, or join them at the church at approximately 5:30 p.m. as the carolers arrive.

Gandy said the singers would be greeted at the church with hot chocolate while members of the youth group present them with the Christmas story as it is told in the Bible.

“It’s a simple kind of plan, and we hope it would appeal to a good number of people,” she said. “We love to sing. We’re a singing church … and we wanted to invite people to sing with us.”