And so, as the Catholics of Warrington trudged through the streets on Christmas Eve to Midnight Mass, no Christmas lights lit their way.
“By the church was filled up except for the front three rows on each side. Then the prisoner went over to the organ and sat down.
That night in Warrington, the words of the prophet Isaiah, from the first reading of the Midnight Mass, came alive for the people of Warrington in a beautiful way.
“Isiah wrote: ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom, a light has shone’. Nealin at Holy Redeemer RC Church, Palm City, Florida, USA on Christmas Eve 1998.
Bill Wilson, a former Staff Sergeant at Burtonwood Airbase, was present at the service.
Recalled Bill: “I was a Staff Sergeant when I served at Burtonwood in 1952-53. I must say that when the sermon was given, I was completely surprised at its content.
Sinclair Mc Kay chronicles the history and achievements of this remarkable organisation and the people who worked for it.
Sinclair Mc Kay writes for the Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday and The Spectator and is a judge for this year’s Encore award for best second novel.
Our aim is to encourage an interest in aspects of local history.
There’s clearly something in the story of Bletchley which is finding an answering echo in today’s age.
There’s something about the scruffy, distracted, improvisational genius of people like Alan Turing, Dilly Knox [and] Josh Cooper.
Promptly at , a group of German and Italian prisoners of war filed into Church, flanked by armed guards, and filled the empty rows. “Slowly and reverently he began to play in a way that brought tears to the eyes of everyone in the church.
At Father Martin Rochford, the parish priest, appeared and announced to the congregation that he had bad news. At this point a German prisoner turned to a guard and said something. That night, despite the darkened streets and windows, the spirit of Christmas lit up the town of Warrington in a way that the people would never forget.