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On a very wet and stormy evening of Thursday 13 December, the Parish of Moruya held its annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols in Saint John’s Church. A small but intrepid congregation braved the storms.

The service featured our ‘Slightly Bent Choir’ with an attendance of over twenty members. This group has made its home with the Parish for the past couple of years. They meet each Tuesday morning with attendance of up to 30 members singing lustily. The oldest chorister has recently celebrated her 103rd birthday. The choir is ably led by Kim. The choir presented the entry and three of the carols.

Just over three years ago a local mental health nurse practitioner and the rector of Moruya parish Reverend Linda Chapman came together to explore the possibility of forming a choir for people in the community facing mental health challenges. One of the first steps was to find a good choir leader. Kim-Edgar Lane, a music therapist and teacher was soon identified as someone who could take up the role. Together Paula, Linda and Kim established what has come to be known as the ‘Slightly Bent’ choir.

The choir now includes other folk in the community with social, physical and intellectual disadvantage who come together every Tuesday to sing for the joy of singing and to perform on various occasions.

Slightly Bent has come to be very important in the lives of many people through its spirit of inclusion, confidence and community building. Some of the members of the choir have also gone on to perform roles in the Red Door Theatre Company that has its home in the same Red Door hall of the parish.

The readings and carols were in line with the advent theme and to demonstrate God’s love for us and the world.

This service was a powerful lead-in to our Christmas-tide. On Christmas Day our Red Door Café group prepared a meal for about 100 people and gave gifts. We hope this led to a blessed and joyous Christmas for all.

by Phil Davies