Monmouth Prep School “Remember Bethlehem” through the music of Jake Thackray

December 18, 2023


In a heartwarming celebration of the season, the pupils and choir of Monmouth Prep School delivered a captivating carol service at St Mary’s Priory Church to an audience of friends and family.

The highlight of the evening was a special rendition of the rarely performed Christmas song, “Remember Bethlehem,” with a strong Monmouth Town connection.

Composed by the esteemed singer-songwriter Jake Thackray, a beloved figure in the Monmouth community, “Remember Bethlehem” holds a unique connection to the town. Originally crafted for Thackray’s students at his high school in Leeds, the song found its way to Monmouthshire when the artist relocated.

Accompanied by Year 8 double bassist, Oliver M, and guitarist, Mr. R. Sherwood, the talented ensemble was conducted by Mr. J. Walton.

Oliver M and Mr. R. Sherwood accompanying the choir

Experience the magic of Monmouth Prep School Choir’s rendition of “Remember Bethlehem” – watch the video here.

Thackray’s composition is a moving retelling of the nativity story, recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios and later covered by American country singer Dee Mullins in the 1970s. The song showcases Thackray’s prowess as a storyteller and songwriter, casting him as a British ‘chansonnier’ or a modern-day troubadour.

Recorded at Abbey Road alongside The Beatles, who admired his distinctive songwriting talent, Thackray’s work has experienced a resurgence in recent years and is now regularly performed on BBC radio 2 and 3 and is championed by the likes of Cerys Matthews amongst others.

For the families and friends in attendance, the evening was a treat—a blend of talent, tradition, and festive spirit. We would like to congratulate the Prep students and leaders on their wonderful performance and all the hard work that went into rehearsing the beautiful service.

Join our cause 

The student’s have been working hard this festive season to raise vital funds for UK homelessness charity, Crisis. So far, they have raised £1024.68 which will support 34 people facing homelessness this Christmas. You can read more about their incredible fundraising efforts here. We kindly ask that if you enjoyed the children’s performance and would like to support their chosen cause further, please donate what you can to Crisis using this link.

Don’t forget, we have an Open Morning on Saturday 27th January 2024. Book your place here, we look forward to seeing you in the new year!