Prayer and party start to new year

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CHURCH-GOERS in South Bersted showed there was no need to choose between partying and praying on New Year’s Eve.

The congregation members at St Mary Magdelene Church combined both on Monday.

Many of them attended a combined event of a party and a Watchnight service.

The Rev Tim Crook, the church’s vicar, said: “It does not have to be one or the other.

“We chose to bring together the best of both sensitively and creatively as we held a service and threw a party.”

The event on Monday was a novel expansion of the popular Christmas Eve church services.

Around the world, midnight Watchtower services are a valued tradition among many Christians. They provide the chance to involve God in landmark occasions in a year.

South Bersted Church followed prayer for the church and community in a reflective service with dance, games, food and champagne to start the new year with a bang.