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Norton church gets back in the Christmas business

December 24, 2011
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NORTON, Mass.—A 300-year-old Norton church that nearly closed last year as its congregation and finances dwindled is scheduled to hold its first Christmas service in more than half a century.

The First Unitarian Church on Saturday planned to hold a Christmas service for the first time since the 1950s.

The church was founded in 1711 and enjoyed its heyday in the post-war years.

But the congregation eventually dwindled to just two elderly people.

Then last year, the Rev. Christana Wille-McKnight turned things around. She tells The Sun Chronicle (http://bit.ly/vOlEFr) she changed the church's model, focusing on spirituality, rather than religion, and adding more lively songs in place of hymns.

There are now about 60 people in the congregation.

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