The service began in darkness with the school’s Chamber Choir holding candles as they walked through the Nave singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
The award winning girls’ school’s orchestra, Prep, Senior and Sixth Form Choirs also took part in the prestigious service which also included readings from girls of all ages.
Performances included ‘Nativity Carol’ by John Rutter, ‘Ave Maria’ by Guilio Caccini and ‘This Little Babe’ by Benjamin Britten.
The final carol of the evening ‘O come all ye faithful’ was given an unexpected twist with the opening verse sung in Latin by the school’s Chamber Choir. The school is very proud of its classics teaching and is the only one in the county offering Latin through to A Level standard.
The widely used ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ format, upon which the service was based, was invented by the school’s founder Bishop, Edward White Benson, in Truro in 1880. He went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie said: “What a wonderful start to the festive season and I am absolutely delighted to have seen so many familiar faces joining us for a magical evening of entertainment showcasing the diverse talents of our girls. It is a matter of considerable pride that the school has roots in such an historic Christmas tradition and we are honoured to carry on this legacy at the home of ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’.”