They’ll be singing ‘round the mountain ... the Reverends Wynne and Paul Bowers-Mason will be that is.
The pair are taking their So This Is Christmas concert on tour, right around the mounga visiting rest homes, churches and schools in Eltham, Hāwera, Kaponga, Stratford, New Plymouth and Ōpunake, says Wynne.
“It’s a way of community outreach, bringing the message of Christmas to people in musical form.”
The pair, Anglican missioners, are well known for their musical talent, and hope to spread some Christmas cheer through voice and guitar over the next few weeks.
Paul, who will be playing guitar as well as singing, says they have a total of 22 concerts booked, with a community one planned for Stratford on Sunday, December 10.
“It will be at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church, and it’s a gold coin donation. The concert will be followed by a cuppa and a mince pie.”
The gold coin donation at the Stratford concert will raise funds for charitable organisation Christian World Service, says Wynne.
“They use the money where the need is greatest, be it Ukraine, Gaza, or somewhere else in the world that needs aid and help.”
Everyone is welcome, says Paul.
“It’s not a service. It’s a series of songs celebrating the message of Christmas.”
That message, says Wynne, is one of peace and hope.
“When you listen to the words in so many Christmas songs, they really do have a deep meaning, and bring a powerful message. That’s what we are bringing - the message of Christmas.”
The songs will cover a wide range of styles, says Paul.
“We are doing mainly upbeat Christmas songs. There will be songs by John Lennon, Cliff Richard, Pentatonix, as well as a few carols.”
Many of the songs may be secular, he says, but they still bring the same Christmas message.
The couple love to sing, says Wynne.
“That’s why we do this.”
They’ve held worship concerts in the past when they’ve worked in Waikato, she says.
“Then we moved to the Brooklands parish in New Plymouth, and continued them there. This series of concerts brings the message of Christmas in a way people can sit back and enjoy hearing.”
Picking their own favourite Christmas songs is tough, says Wynne, but her absolute favourite would be the very old hymn - Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.
“I love both the words and the tune.”
The hymn’s origins are back in the 4th century, and it’s a lot less modern than the songs the couple will feature in their concert series.
Paul’s favourite Christmas song, Oh Holy Night, will feature in the concert, he says.
“One thing I like about it, it’s translated from French originally, is that the guy who wrote it, he wasn’t really religious, but the words, they have a real reverence to them.”
That’s true of a lot of Christmas songs, he says.
“They might be secular, not religious as such, but then the lyrics actually carry a deeper meaning, and do reflect all that is special about Christmas.”
The concerts will be under an hour in length, says Wynne.
“Depending on how much Paul talks between songs.”
What: So This Is Christmas - a community concert
When: Sunday, December 10, 2pm
Where: Holy Trinity Church, corner Regan and Juliet streets, Stratford
Details: Gold coin donation for Christian World Service