Glittering frost carpeted Dudley for “Joy to the World”, the Castle and Priory Regeneration Board Christmas event supported by HOPE not hate. The event brought together the Priory and Wren’s Nest and residents from new development in North Priory, Friars Gate- to celebrate peace. The day was themed upon the Christmas Truce, to mark its centenary, and to represent the union and friendship between opposing sides in difficult times.
The day began at Community house on the new Friar’s Gate, where children wrote messages of hope and peace for the new year, which were hidden inside baubles, decorated with sparkles and festive stickers. Carols from around the world played and we reflected on the relevance of the Christmas truce for our friends, families and community. In the pinkish winter light, we walked together to St Francis’ Church and warmed up with turkey baps and mince pies! Children were entertained with lantern making and Christmas crafts, whilst everyone enjoyed the food. We then entered the Church to hang our messages of peace and baubles on the tree, and to hear messages of love, joy and hope from other places around the world. Following a beautiful rendition of “Stille Nacht”, we lit our lanterns and diya Diwali lamps and set off for carols in Priory park. Over 100 people braced the freezing temperatures to sing along to festive classics by candlelight.
We will continue to work closely with residents in Castle and Priory and to continue spreading messages of hope.