West Auckland Vineyard (WAV) talked to Linda Hancock about Doorstep Carols, socially distancing of course.
WAV: Hi Linda, tell us a little about yourself.
Linda: I'm married to Adrian and together we pastor West Auckland Vineyard. We live in West Auckland, although currently in separate houses as I have moved in with my mum to help look after her! We have two sons who live in Edinburgh and London, and two grandchildren, with another two on the way early in the new year but with current restrictions I don't know when we will get to see them!
WAV: What is Doorstep Carols and why is it important to you?
Linda: We usually sing carols round the tree on the green the week before Christmas, with the help of the Salvation Army, followed by soup in The Well. Obviously we couldn't do that this year and we thought we could invite the village to sing on their doorsteps in the same way we clapped for the NHS, and ask people to donate to charity. We then found that other people had had the same idea and decided to join the national movement. We would like to thank Bishop FM for joining us in promoting this venture and together we agreed on the charity MIND. Donations can be made at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/10010#!/DonationDetails.
WAV: Why do you think Doorstep Carols are important at the moment?
Linda: Christmas will be so different for everyone this year and many people have missed out on so much already. We wanted to invite people to feel part of something and encourage the spirit of community. Singing carols is something many of us love and we all know how to do and will otherwise have had very little opportunity to sing or listen to public carols this year.
WAV: What is your favourite carol and why?
Linda: Tough question. I have always loved singing carols but not until I became a Christian did I fully understand the significance of many of the words. Although many of them are "of their time" the message is still clear, God sent his son
to live among us in the flesh and to show us how to love one another. On the basis of words alone I think I would have to go with O Little Town of Bethlehem, where each line is a gospel message.
WAV: When does Doorstep Carols take place and how can people participate?
Linda: This is happening on Wednesday 16th December, at 6pm. Hopefully anyone living in West Auckland should have received a leaflet in their Christmas cards explaining when and where to download song sheets, but these will be available on the Bishop FM website from Monday 14th December, and tune your radio to 105.9 Bishop FM to help you follow the tune. Get on your doorsteps and why not dress up and send in a photograph either to Bishop fm or to us to be used on our website?
WAV: Where can people find out more information about Doorstep Carols?
Linda: Visit www.doorstepcarols.co.uk, www.westaucklandvineyard.net or www.bishopfm.com Or call The Well, currently open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11am - 3pm for the Foodbank on 01388 834005.
WAV: Thank you Linda for taking part and we are looking forward to Doorstep Carols coming to a doorway near you!
Linda: You are very welcome.