Jesus tells us, in Matthew 5 v 45, that God – our Father in heaven – “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”. The first part of that observation was borne out in Letterkenny this evening as incessant rain fell on the couple of hundred people who took part in the town’s 10th Christmas Carol Trail.

This unique festive event is organised by Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter and Letterkenny Community Development Project and the Carol Service is facilitated by Trinity Presbyterian Church, St Eunan’s Cathedral and Conwal Parish Church.

The participants gathered first in Trinity Presbyterian Church on Main Street where they were welcomed by the minister, Rev Tommy Bruce. The congregation – including Bishop Alan McGuckian, Rev David Houlton and Rev Heather Houlton – listened to readings from the Bible and sang Christmas Carols together, before making their way in a candlelit procession along Main Street and up Church Lane for more hymns and readings outside the Gospel Hall.

Umbrellas were opened throughout the walk, and the rain seemed to fall almost horizontally, as the group wend their way to the former Methodist Church (Mount Southwell). From there it was on to St Eunan’s Cathedral, and the last stop – with Carols and readings at each destination – was Conwal Parish Church, where the event concluded with a special rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ by singer Jean Curran.

Afterwards, the bedraggled participants walked the few short steps to Conwal Church Hall for some welcome refreshments, including mince pies and hot drinks.