Christmas carol contest

Epworth’s Old Rectory, which was the childhood home of John and Charles Wesley the founders of a movement that went on to become the Methodist Church, has launched the competition.

Charles Wesley was a prolific hymn writer with some 6,000 published and approximately 3,000 unpublished and it is one of his best know Christmas Carols - Hark The Herald Angels Sing – that is at the centre of the challenge.

Youngsters are being asked to rewrite the words and use the same tune or keep the words and write a new tune.

The competition is open to youngsters in two age categories - seven to 11 and 12 to 18 – and entries can come not only from schools but from organisations including Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts and other youth groups.

Entries need to be a minimum of two verses and not exceed five verses – the length of Charles Wesley’s original hymn – and must be in the manner of joy or praise for Christmas.

The winning entries will be performed by the winners at a Carol Service to be held at the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Epworth on Wednesday, December 7. In addition, there are prizes on offer with the first prize in each category being a tour of the Trax FM’s radio studios and the second being a tour of the Old Rectory with refreshments.

Closing date for entries is Friday, November 11, and a full set of rules, teachers’ resources and application forms are available from or from the museum’s curator - Rev Claire Potter - on 01427 872268.