Hundreds of football fans enjoyed Carols on the Kop at Prenton Park on Saturday 18 December following Tranmere Rovers' 1-0 win over Leyton Orient.
The annual post-match carol service is fast becoming a much-loved tradition and is proving to be a successful way to share the Christmas story with people unaccustomed to carol and church services.
This year, singer-songwriter Katie Ritson led the carols and club Manager, Micky Mellon gave a reading from the Bible, after which he roused the congregation with a chant of "Super White Army", much to their delight.
Club Manager Micky Mellon and the Mayor of Wirrall, Cllr. George Davies
Tranmere Rovers' Chaplain, the Revd Matt Graham, who helped to organise the event, says: "This is a great community of people, and this year we were thrilled to have nearly 400 people join us for Carols on the Kop. I was delighted that so many of these were football fans who remained after the home match, many of which are not associated with the local church and are mostly people who wouldn't darken a church door, even for a carol service. We're reaching a whole different bunch of people with Carols on the Kop which is really encouraging."
Carols on the Kop is part of the club's Super White Christmas Appeal, which, through food hampers, parties, and fun events helps underprivileged people in Wirral enjoy their Christmas.
Director of Outreach in the Diocese of Chester, Peter Froggatt, who attended the service, says Carols on the Kop is a great example of a creative approach to outreach. He says: "Congratulations to everyone involved, it was an enjoyable service on a cold December afternoon. What I was struck by most was the creative way in which Matt has worked with the club to reach people who are unaccustomed to church. I look forward to next year's event."
The Bishop of Birkenhead, Julie Conalty, who attended Prenton Park for the first time following her appointment this summer, prayed for God’s blessing on all those who attended. She says: “I thoroughly enjoyed the match and this special service. Carols on the Kop is not your usual carol service; it’s different, but it’s also a glowing example of how, through relationships with others in the community, the Church can go out to meet people where they are and bring the story of Jesus to them. I was delighted Matt invited me to take part and I look forward to returning next year.”
Julie Conalty, Bishop of Birkenhead prayed for God’s blessing on all those who attended
The Revd Matt Graham is the club's Chaplain and was key to organising the event
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