Jesus the reason for the season

01:38, Dec 24 2012
Holy beginnings: Vicar Bob Barnes, of the Church of the Nativity in Blenheim, with the nativity scene depicting the three wise men bringing gifts for baby Jesus in the manger, watched over by Joseph and Mary.

For many, Christmas Eve will be spent rushing to buy food for the big Christmas Day meal, and to finish buying and wrapping presents for the family.

Christmas in New Zealand is all about fun, food and family.

But many in the community also make time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, heralded by Christian communities as their saviour and the son of God.

Churches around Marlborough will be marking the special day in their own way, with many holding services tonight and on Christmas morning.

Vicar Bob Barnes, of the Church of the Nativity in Blenheim, said his church would be holding its "midnight" service today at 10.30pm and running through until midnight.

"It won't be strictly traditional, but we will tell the Christmas story."


There would be a band backing a six-piece gospel choir as well as carol singing and mime, he said.

"It will be reverent - but it will be fun."

The Christmas Eve service tended to be the biggest service of the year and he expected hundreds of people to attend. There would also be two services on Christmas Day, at 8am and 10am.

It was the 151st Christmas service to be held by the parish.

Church services

The true meaning of Christmas will be celebrated in services in the churches of Blenheim and wider Marlborough, beginning tonight with a family mass at 7pm and again at 10pm at St Mary's Catholic Church. 

11pm tonight St Christopher's Anglican Church contemporary communion service

Christmas Day serives

9.30am St Mary's

8am Church of Immaculate Conception, in Seddon

9.30am St Christopher's Anglican Church

9am Elim centre to be followed by the community Christmas dinner

9.30am Blenheim Methodist Parish at the Wesley Centre

9.30am Lighthouse Christian Fellowship carols and readings at the Senior Citizens Hall on High St

The Marlborough Express