From its humble beginnings with nine outdoor theatres built with tarps and chicken-wire, to a combination of welcoming music, lights, facade, nightly carol-singing and permanent wooden theatres, St. Mark’s Ocean Park’s “Journey of Christmas” celebrates its tenth year beginning Dec. 17.
|Parishioners preparing the Journey of Christmas display at St. Mark’s Ocean Park, in South Surrey|
What began as an inspired vision given to John Reader has become a Christmas tradition for many people who walk through the woods behind St. Mark’s. They have discovered the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the kings, angels and shepherds in realistic-looking mannequins along with background murals, theatre lighting and a sophisticated CD soundtrack.
Over the past couple of years, stormy weather has hurt attendance, so this year we will welcome you indoors to sing carols with an all-star list of entertainers, but keep in mind that the focus of the “Journey of Christmas” is the story as told through our guided Christmas walk-in-the-woods.
This year’s celebration will begin on Wed. Dec. 17 at 6 pm with a “Celebration of 10 Years of Ministry of the Journey of Christmas” led by the Rev. Craig Tanksley with a Christmas message from the Rev. Jim Fergusson, who was the rector when the display opened. Then a red ribbon will be cut to let this year’s first visitors through. There will also be a cake to mark the occasion.
‘Journey of Christmas’ Schedule
Dec. 17 to 23 and Dec. 26 to 28—from 6 pm to 9 pm
Dec. 18 also from 1-3 pm –Seniors’ afternoon
Dec. 24 from 3:30 to 9 pm
|The Shepherd in the Fields scene from Journey of Christmas|
Wednesday, Dec. 17: In the Hall 7 -9 pm will be Phyllis & Friends (12 persons) a seniors group doing a “Sing-along” with bongo drum and base instrument.
Thursday, Dec. 18
1-3 pm— Sing-along Seniors’ group with Alex Mason
7-9 pm—White Rock Christian Academy School Choir - Music director is Savona Mynhardt.
Friday, Dec. 19th
7-9 pm—The Surrey Children’s Choir, in the church sanctuary. There will be at least 10 young people performing. This is a “fund raising” concert for their Wales trip next year.
Saturday, Dec. 20th
7-8pm—Children’s Puppet Show with Laura Lansink
8-9 pm—Pauline Turnham, pianist.
Sunday, Dec. 21
Surrey Symphony Society (Wind and String quartet groups) They have been practising at St. Mark’s for seven years.
Monday, Dec. 22nd
Trudy Bishop’s Sing-along Group
Dec. 26th Friday
Boxing Day Movie Night
Sunday, Dec. 28th
Final night. Sarah Ciantar with a music concert in the church sanctuary.