Westfield Church holds Victorian Christmas

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Danielson - posted Mon., Dec. 2, 2013
Sisters Savanna and Sabrina join in song before the lights were turned on outside the church. Photos by D. Coffey.
Sisters Savanna and Sabrina join in song before the lights were turned on outside the church. Photos by D. Coffey.

It's official: the Victorian Christmas season has begun at Westfield Congregational Church in Danielson. The Rev. Jonathan Chapman led a tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 30, complete with caroling and hot chocolate.

While a group of 30 people sang “Deck the Halls” and “Joy to the World,” the lights on two trees fronting Main Street were turned on. The trunks and branches glowed white, matching the white lights on the Christmas tree in the bell tower and the lanterns along the front steps.

Afterwards, Chapman invited the crowd inside the sanctuary for a guided tour of the historic structure. Candle sconces lined the church aisles. Garlands were draped along the balcony. Christmas trees and wreaths decorated the sanctuary and apse. He led the group into the bell tower where a thick cord lay curled on the floor. Some in the group opted to pull it. The church bell peeled over and over as they did.

Abigail Comtois had come to the event with her mother and brother. The elementary school student had learned about the church’s history and architecture during a field trip in the fall and she wanted to come for the tree lighting.

“The steeple tipped over,” she said. “Then they built this new one.” She pointed to the tall steeple. A single white light glowed in a window set high in the bell tower.

The idea behind the Victorian-themed Christmas celebration is to encourage people to slow down and savor the wonder of the season, according to Chapman. This is the second year that Westfield is sponsoring a Victorian Christmas celebration. The church will hold 7 p.m. services on the first four Sundays in December.

On Dec. 15 the church will hold a Victorian Christmas Feast featuring roast beef, plum and Yorkshire pudding, and other traditional dishes. The service that evening will include the telling of the Christmas story and candlelight singing of “Silent Night.”

For more information, or to make reservations for the Christmas dinner, go to www.westfielducc.org.

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