Anyway, the point is, Harvest is still a few weeks away - we like to make sure we can re-use the pumpkins and marrows for punkies at Samhain - and so we thought what we would have is the "Soon be Xmas" service. This combining the fun of the Yuletide season, the expectation of Advent, the ability to be outside for the service because it's late Summer and, in passing, the latest Transfer Deadline news coming through.
A great advantage of holding a Christmas service in Summer is that we can use all those solar-powered fairy lights we bought in the New Year Sale. They're never gonna charge up in December, after all. Though we've still hours to wait today till it gets dark enough for them to switch on, obviously.
The "3 Months to Nativity Play" was a bit odd, admittedly. Mary telling Joseph off for the way he drank too much at John the Baptist's Purification ceremony does not exist within the traditional Canon. Mind you, neither do silent babies, lowing oxen and the Little Drummer Boy, so not necessarily a great problem there.
The narrator went off on his own to a large degree, though. Having all the relatives complain to Mary that she already knows it's gonna be a boy - "you've spoilt the surprise". Mary's response to Joseph telling her they've got to go to Bethlehem for the census - " are you sure you're not making this up for theological reasons, Joe?" And the touching closing scene where, with cattle not lowing, no shepherds or wise men, Mary and Joseph sit reading baby books.
The carols were nice: "O get ready all ye faithful, time to book the works do"; "Hark the Tesco's profit warning means mince pies already in the shops" and "In the bleak late summer". And then Father Christmas appeared to show all the kids a load of partly-assembled toys, and tell us that Rudolph couldn't make it because he was back at the North Pole dealing with a major flooding incident.
Then, as fake snow fell on the ground, we joined in a rousing chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" to celebrate Methodist New Year.
A smashing time was had by all. I can't wait for the real thing!