Worshippers whip up old spirit of the Celts | PICTURES

A CELTIC harp, Scottish bagpipes, Welsh hymns and Irish dancing gave a morning service at St Matthew’s Church in Albury a distinctive flavour yesterday.

The Anglican parish hosted its first Celtic Spirituality Weekend, also featuring a harp performance by Cath Connelly, a workshop and an exhibition of things Irish, Scottish and Welsh.

The morning service for more than 200 people was conducted by associate priest the Reverend Maureen Beattie, who promised the festival would return next year.

“It has a homespun feel about it,” she said.

“It’s been a wonderful weekend to celebrate Celtic culture and there’s been a very warm feeling.

About 500 people attended the two-day festival, which concluded with a Celtic afternoon concert by Ms Connelly yesterday.

It coincided with the winter solstice where it was the darkest day and longest night.

“In years gone by people welcomed in the light after the solstice to move forward towards spring,” the Reverend Beattie said.

“It’s about celebrating the new life that comes with spring, but also celebrating the life of Christ which is in each of us.”