Midnight brought forward to help parishioners see the light

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 December 2012

Streetlights are turned off in many places late at night

Streetlights are turned off in many places late at night

Archant

MIDNIGHT mass changed to 11pm mass at a Weston church on Christmas Eve following fears over the safety of parishioners.

Corpus Christi Church in Ellenborough Park South took the decision earlier this year to hold the service an hour earlier because of the street lights being turned off.

North Somerset Council has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds in the past couple of years by taking the decision to plunge a number of streets into darkness between midnight and 5am.

But church officials at Corpus Christi feared those returning home from a midnight service in the dark on Christmas Eve might end up having a ‘mishap’.

When the pastoral council met in September it took the decision to bring midnight mass forward an hour to allow parishioners to see their way out of the church.

Treasurer Joseph Burke said: “The decision was taken by the parish priest in consultation with the pastoral council to bring mass forward as it is normally about 1.30am when people start to make their way home.

“There are a few street lights outside the church, but it is also for the safety of people when they arrive home.”

North Somerset Council will continue to look at switching off more lights, which could lead to further savings in the future. Part of its programme has involved looking at lighting in new housing areas to stop unnecessary street lights from being built in the first place.

Old lights have also been replaced with newer, energy-efficient models which are able to be dimmed.

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