The magical evening of Carols in the Cornmarket at Wimborne Minster took place on Friday 23rd December 2022. For the second year in succession, to keep in line with a plastic free town, Lanterns were conveniently placed in the Wimborne in Bloom Flower Towers which lit up the Corn Market. Organised jointly by Hilda Butler and Anthony Oliver as a Community Event since 2006 the Corn Market filled with a crowd of several hundred in the space of just over fifteen minutes before the Town Crier, Chris Brown called everyone to order at 6.00pm. A welcome was given by Anthony Oliver before Salvation Army Officer Major Carole Gadsden opened the evening with Prayer.

The singing of the Carols was accompanied by the Broadstone Community Concert Band under the direction of Damon Corio and Minster Choristers under the direction of Colin Davey, Organist and Director of the Choirs at The Minster.

After the singing of the first two carols The Revd Nick Wells, the Minster Curate sang a solo ‘O come, O come Emmanuel’ accompanying himself on his guitar before the Town Mayor Cllr Carol Butter read a lesson from Luke’s Gospel. Two of the Minster Choristers Esther Davey and Eden Wells sang solo verses of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ respectively whilst Eden also read the Poem ‘Before the ice is in the pools’, by Emily Dickinson. The final Blessing was pronounced by the Revd Canon Andrew Rowland, Rector of Wimborne Minster.

The event was sponsored by The Wimborne BID, Optique 2000 and Wimborne Minster Town Council who paid for the Candles and the printing of the Carol Sheets. Radio Wimborne kindly provided the Public Address system with the power being provided by Andrew David Associates. First Aid cover was provided by John Hughes.

A collection was taken for the Mayors Charities, Dial-a-Ride, Walford Mill Education Trust and the UK Wild Otter Trust. It raised £671.

After the event Damon Corio wrote, “It was a fantastic evening. It still never ceases to amaze me how it all works out and how the crowd appear and disappear. The whole event is a testament to Wimborne Community spirit. We the band are delighted to be asked to play and it is already on the band calendar for next year”. “We hope everyone who attended agrees with Damon”, said Anthony Oliver “and we do hopefully look forward to seeing everyone again next year on Friday 22nd December 2023.

Photo 1 The Lanterns light up the Cornmarket just before the crowd start arriving; photo by Anthony Oliver

Photo 2 (From the Left) Major Carole Gadsden, Salvation Army, Chris Brown, Town Crier, Anthony Oliver, Colin Davey (at back beside Anthony) Minster Choristers, Revd Canon Andrew Rowland, Rector Wimborne Minster and Cllr Carol, Butter Town Mayor; photo by John Hughes.