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Edwardian Christmas

Claire McCollum is at Beamish Museum to find out how Edwardians celebrated Christmas, and Rick Astley performs When a Child Is Born.

Claire McCollum steps back in time to experience an Edwardian Christmas at Beamish open-air museum near Durham. From carol singing in the old pit village to making seasonal sweets, Claire discovers how faith was at the heart of festive traditions a century ago. She also speaks to Rev. Rachel Mann about Christina Rosetti, the remarkable woman who wrote one of the nation’s favourite carols, In the Bleak Midwinter.

JB Gill meets Jonathan Bryan, an extraordinary young Christian who is telling his story against all odds. Jonathan, 13, has severe cerebral palsy and is able only to move his eyes, and yet by picking letters from a special board with the movements of his eyes he is able to communicate and has now written an autobiography. He wants to tell the world about his life and his faith in Jesus. JB finds out why Christmas is especially important to Jonathan.

With wonderful music for the second Sunday in Advent and an exclusive performance by Rick Astley.

Music
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, St Peter’s Church, Cound, Shropshire
The Lion and The Lamb, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
10,000 Reasons, Ruach City Church, Brixton
In the Bleak Midwinter, St Peter’s Church, Cound, Shropshire
When A Child Is Born – Rick Astley
Do you hear what I hear? Mevagissey Voice Choir

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34 minutes

Last on

Sunday 13:15

Stories

An Edwardian Christmas at Beamish

Claire McCollum explores Beamish open air museum near Durham. She helps the chief sweet-maker, Callum, to make festive boiled sweets using the exact same method from the Edwardian era. She also meets Rhiannon Hiles, deputy director of the museum, to hear about the vision and purpose of Beamish, to learn about more Edwardian Christmas traditions and to hear how church was central to communities at that time.

Jonathan’s Story

JB Gill travels to Wiltshire to meet Jonathan Bryan – an extraordinary young Christian who is telling his story against all odds. Jonathan, 13, has severe cerebral palsy and is only able to move his eyes – and yet by picking letters from a special board with the movements of his pupils he is able to communicate and has even written his autobiography. He wanted to tell the world about his life and his faith in Jesus. JB finds out why Christmas is especially important to Jonathan.

In the Bleak Midwinter

Near the Beamish Christmas Bazaar, Claire meets Rev. Dr Rachel Mann who has spent years researching and writing about Christian poet Christina Rossetti. Rossetti is most famous for writing the words to "In the Bleak Midwinter which was put to music in the Edwardian era after her death. Rachel explains to Claire the profound meaning of the words.

Rick Astley

Pop star Rick Astley introduces his special performance of "When a Child is Born".

Edwardian Christmas part 2

Rosie Nichols is Keeper of Social History at Beamish – she meets Claire in one of the perfectly recreated pit cottages and tell her that although the cottage was cramped and there was a great disparity between rich and poor in Edwardian times – the pit families would have actually enjoyed a good Christmas celebration. She also shares her own faith with Claire and why Christmas is special to her.

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Claire McCollum
Presenter JB Gill
Performer Rick Astley
Producer David Waters
Executive Producer Cat Lewis
Executive Producer Emyr Afan
Series Producer Matthew Napier
Production Company Avanti Media

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