In the Mulbring Valley, in times gone by, people celebrated Christmas by getting together and singing, followed by refreshments.
Christ Church Mount Vincent hopes to recreate this good cheer and neighbourly festivity at its Christmas Carols night on Sunday, December 1.
The church was threatened with closure in June 2018 after the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle proposed to sell off a number of small churches in order to meet its redress obligations for survivors of child abuse.
While the Mount Vincent church was given a reprieve in September last year, its progress will be reviewed over a three-year period, and the parish has been working to add more community events to its calendar.
Carols night organiser Barbara McPhee said the event aims to highlight the significance of the church as a meeting place to the community, and to bring neighbours, friends and residents - and anyone with a connection to the Mulbring Valley or the Mount Vincent parish - together to celebrate the festive season.
Guests are encouraged to bring a plate of savoury or sweet finger food, plus a small unwrapped gift for a child or adult and/or non-perishable food for the Cessnock Samaritans Christmas Appeal.
Ms McPhee said the event will be a throwback to the days of the early settlers in the Mulbring Valley, when celebrations were "local, homemade and great fun".
"It will start with a little drink in the churchyard to loosen the vocal cords," she said.
"Our small choir of local identities will lead everyone into the church in hearty singing and our narrator, Ruth Mackay, will recount a little of the history of the district in between the singing.
"Bring your best singing voice to lift the rafters with traditional carols in our wonderful country church."
The event will also celebrate the conclusion of the church's 175-year anniversary, and the recent renovation of the 1910-built church hall.
Gates will open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start, with supper and refreshments by candlelight from 8.15pm in the church yard. Everyone is welcome.