By Cameron Brooks

A Church of Scotland minister is encouraging people to take part in a nationwide Christmas Carol concert on their doorsteps.

The Rev Mike Goss is appealing to individuals and families across the country to gather in front of their homes for “Doorstep Carols” on the 20th of December at 6pm and ensure it is anything but a Silent Night.

He said traditional door to door caroling was clearly not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions but filling the streets with the joyful sound of classics like ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, Away in a Manger and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ will send out a strong message that Christmas is “not cancelled”.

The minister of Barry Parish Church linked with Carnoustie Church in Angus said the event, which features five carols and will last approximately 15 minutes, would serve as a “beacon of light in the darkness”.

Mr Goss said: “People are understandably feeling gloomy because the impact of restrictions will almost certainly mean that Christmas will look different this year.

“But the true meaning is still the same and I hope that family groups and people in bubbles coming out onto their doorsteps, ensuring they are standing two metres away from their neighbours, will provide a sense of joy, peace and comfort.”

Mr Goss said people can download the words to the five carols from his church websites ahead of the event to ensure they are singing from the same (hymn) sheet.

Members of Kirk congregations across Angus have indicated that they will take part in what could become the largest Christmas Carol concert ever held in Scotland.

Mr Goss said he hoped that members and adherents of other denominations, organisations like the Boys and Girls Brigade and those who are not regular church goers would take part.

“It is fair to say that a lot of people feel that they have lost their singing voices this year because we have been unable to sing in church since March and many choirs are finding putting on online events challenging,” he added.

“Doorstep Carols is an opportunity for people to come together in small numbers in a socially distanced and responsible way as part of a wider community across Scotland and celebrate this special time of year.”

Mr Goss said Christmas, for Christians, is about sharing the joy of the Living God “making his home as a child among us” and providing hope in “Jesus born to be our Saviour”.

“He came to bridge gaps between people and God and between people and people and this event is an occasion to do that,” he added.

The minister is encouraging churches to consider recording short videos of their members doorstep caroling and post them on social media.

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