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You’ve heard of drive-in cinemas but add a festive twist and you get drive-in Christmas carols — which is in the works for one supermarket car park on the Island.

Grace Church and St James’s Church, both in Ryde, are working together to turn their usual Carols by Candlelight service into a COVID-friendly celebration — but with a slight change in the usual proceedings.

Under the Tier 1 COVID restrictions the Island is currently adhering to, places of worship can hold services so long as households are socially distanced and do not gather in groups of more than 6.

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This meant the churches’ usually packed events would have had greatly limited numbers and so led to an “innovative, but novel” solution — a drive-in carol service held in the car park of Tesco Extra Ryde at Westridge.

Oliver Tucker, pastor at Grace Church, said the community project is receiving help from Aspire Ryde, Vectis Radio, Isle of Wight Coast and Country Marquees as well as Tesco to bring the vision to life. He said:

“Being able to do this  where you are in your car, with your household, socially distanced and very safe but you can sing – it’s wonderful.

“Very few events are happening this year but we are just thrilled everyone would be supportive and that we can do this — sing all the old favourites, a short talk and a chance to remember the real message of Christmas.

“For us to get together and sing the carols as we do year on year should be great fun.”

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Despite people being in their cars, the service will be broadcast live via Vectis Radio, so you can hear it perfectly if, as Oliver said, “you are too cold to wind down your window” or you are at home, wanting to tune in.

At the drive-in, a prize will be given to the best decorated Christmas-themed car and activity bags will provided for children.

The service will take place on Sunday 20th December at 19:00 in the car park of Tesco Extra.

For those that wish to attend, pre-booking is advised and can be done so via or you can listen along on Vectis Radio (104.6FM).

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