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Tewkesbury formally welcomes ARRC with glittering Carol Service at Abbey

Dec 15 at 11:39am

The Borough of Tewkesbury Mace bearers
lead the way out of the Abbey
The ARRC Group were today officially welcomed to the Borough of Tewkesbury at a glittering Carol Service in Tewkesbury Abbey.

 

Hosted by the Mayor of Tewkesbury , Cllr Elaine Hancox , hundreds of ARRC personnel and their families packed the Abbey to celebrate a traditional Christmas service, to mark their formal welcome to the Borough.

 

This is the ARRC’s first ever Christmas in UK after moving from Germany over the summer , and the Service was a chance for Partner Nations to have a taste of a traditional British Christmas festival.

 

Carol singing at the Abbey

As well carols being sung, a line-up of Partner Nation staff gave Readings and Prayers in their own languages , for a truly multinational celebration of Yuletide.
 

The Service commenced with a welcome to the Abbey by the Rev Steve Short, Chaplain to the Borough Mayor, before Cllr Hancox formally welcomed ARRC Group to the Borough.

 

She said:   "It was a poignant moment when RAF Innsworth closed, ending a long association with the RAF. Imagine our delight, therefore, when the camp became the new home for the ARRC. As Mayor, I am proud, privileged and honoured to bid welcome to that most prestigious military organisation, the ARRC. I look forward to a long and happy friendship with you all, the ARRC provides splendid opportunities for cultural exchanges, sharing languages, experience, beliefs and traditions. I should also mention the difficult responsibilities that you will be facing in Afghanistan all too soon. We will pray for your safe return to families and friends”.

 

Readings were given by military and their family members

In his reply, Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff, Commander ARRC, said: "On behalf of all members of the ARRC Group and their families, I thank you most profoundly for your kind words and the honour of being formally welcomed to this fine place. By welcoming us here, you are telling us that we are part of your community.  I accept your hand of friendship and let me stress our determination to contribute to your community to the fullest possible. Tonight symbolises the cementing of a strong and lasting relationship between HQ ARRC and the people of Tewkesbury.”