250 people joined Barry Smith and his squad at the 15th annual Shots Carol Service on Thursday night, at Holy Trinity Church.
Hosted by Club Chaplains, Rev Mike Pusey and George Newton, the packed Church sang popular carols including Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. There was also a performance of two traditional songs in Nepalese, by the Nepalese Christian Church.
Rev Pusey spoke to Linda Scard, an Aldershot Town supporter for over 20 years having been born into a Shots-supporting family, about her faith in both Club and Church, before she delivered a reading from the Book of Matthew.
He also thanked Keith and Viv Able for their many years of hard work in support of the Club, and spoke about Aldershot Town’s community work, before introducing a short video about the Club’s partnership with the National Citizen Service.
Rev Pusey then delivered a passionate sermon based around the question of ‘Are you a cheerleader or a critic?’, and confessed his own occasional transgressions of venting his frustrations on matchday. Mike’s own resolution, though, was to be a cheerleader as he urged supporters to rally around the Club during a difficult period, in the hope that joy could be found both on Christmas Day and in earning three points on Boxing Day!
Rev Newton reprised his role as Basil Fawlty in a sketch entitled ‘Fawlty Towers, Bethlehem Branch’, telling the slapstick story of Mary and Joseph’s attempts to check in to a hotel on Christmas Eve, replete with Three Wise Men wearing red and blue scarfs to keep warm on their journey, and Manuel the Spanish waiter convinced that the child is named after him.
The evening closed with collections for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and The Source young people’s charity, as the entire congregation enjoyed refreshments including mulled wine, cask ale and mince pies.
Rev Pusey said: “The Service is always one of the highlights of our year, and I was delighted to see so many Shots fans in attendance, as we do every year at this event. It is a real chance to celebrate our togetherness and bring joy to our world. It proves again that at the heart of everything in life, be it Christianity or football or our own personal lives, is relationships, and the need for peace and harmony. I hope that you all find that this Christmas.”
Aldershot Town thank everybody at Holy Trinity Church for the warm welcome they again extended to the Club, and to all supporters and well-wishers who enjoyed the evening.