Before Santa Claus there was the mythical figure of Sir Christmas, who brought tidings of comfort and joy to medieval England.
He figures in carols composed more than five centuries ago and makes his return during a concert taking place at Holy Trinity Church, on Friday at 7.30pm.
The concert is called Goday, My Lord Sire Christemas – taking its title from of one of the ancient carols in the programme, performed by early music band The York Waits, who have been playing Christmas concerts at the church for the past 16 years.
The Waits – joined as usual by singer Deborah Catterall – were formed in the 1970s to recreate the ancient band of their home city. Their concerts and recordings feature instruments such as the loud and strident shawms, the sackbut (a medieval trombone), plus early stringed instruments such as harp, rebec, fiddle, gittern and hurdy gurdy.
The Waits first performed at Wentworth Church in 2000 and have been back every year since. In 2003 they recorded a CD of Christmas music there.
“Obviously, it’s very special venue for us and we usually perform there just a day or two before Christmas, which adds to the atmosphere,” said band member William Marshall.
The concert features carols of the 1400s, plus English music for the Christmas season from later centuries, including the famous Coventry Carol, a New Year carol to the tune of Greensleeves and a song about winter with words by William Shakespeare.
For tickets, call 01709 527713 or visit Wentworth Church