All conversation ceased again as Harold tapped on the stand with his baton, and the choir rose to sing.

‘Glory to God, glory to God in the highest . . . .’

They were not many in number, and Dorcas was always impressed by the strength and vigour they brought to such a big work.

‘. . . and peace on earth. . . . good will. . .’

The choir went quickly through this chorus and ‘For unto us a boy is born’, which they knew well and sang confidently, then as Harold stood looking at the score with Eli Baer agreeing some details for the next aria, Dorcas got into conversation with Martha ter Heide about decorating the gathering Place for the big celebration. Helping with the baking was not asked of her while she had a new baby at home – but no one is properly part of something they have not helped with at all, and Martha had thought Dorcas might like to bring the children to join the team decorating the hall with greenery for the Gathering.