Around 200 local residents gathered in St Jude's Church last night for drinks before the Residents Association firework display on the Square. This has been an annual tradition since the Millennium eve in 1999. The tolling of the bell of St Jude's at midnight is the signal for the fireworks to begin.
1 January in the Church of England Calendar is the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus. It is not, of course, the 'Christian' New Year (the Vicar usually gets a couple of phone calls asking about 'New Year' services); indeed no day is so-designated (probably because of Christian opposition to astrology). The liturgical year begins on Advent Sunday, while the Feast of the Annunciation or Lady Day on 25 March was observed as the day of the year change in England until 1752.