Plumpton College and the village come together for Christmas
Students at Plumpton College, primary school children, parents, grandparents and church members joined forces to take part in a traditional carol service in the Grade I listed parish church adjacent to the college campus.
St Michael’s Church was built almost a thousand years ago in what was then the centre of the village. Now it is surrounded by buildings of the college which specialises in land-based studies, both to degree level and people seeking to simply become better at what they do.
It was part of the college’s aims to place itself at the heart of the community by organising events that both students and villagers can enjoy and helping the village find out more about what was going on in its midst.
There was standing room only at the church for the service with readings telling the Christmas story. College and church choirs joined with enthusiastic renditions of Christmas favourites.
Primary schoolchildren sang Jingle Bells, a student, aged 14, who had started college as part of his home education programme and is now on a Level 3 course, read a lesson. The vicar had co-opted a local Harry Potter actor and friends to give two readings.
Catherine Sezen from Tes, an organisation supporting teachers, school staff and schools themselves, said the joint production event had been gathering momentum over the past few years.
This year there was also a Christmas fair selling locally produced and the college’s own products in the buildings and more than 150 people enjoyed carols, mince pies and mulled wine provided by the college.
Catherine said the carol service was part of the college’s wider ‘Acts of Kindness’ month. An advent calendar in the student common room is there to promote positive action opportunities on each day in December.
There was a Christmas tree in the student common room bearing gift tags where students leave positive affirmations for friends and the student union collected winter woollies for the local homeless shelter.
Catherine said: “For me this is what colleges are about; at the heart and giving back to their own community, being at the centre of the skills ecosystem within their local communities.”