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Advent & Christmas 2019


Info: Posters showing details of the various Services leading up to Christmas can be found on our Special Services Coming Up and Forthcoming Musical Events pages.


Advent Sunday

The most ancient and probably most neglected of seasons begins on 1 December. Advent also heralds the Christian New Year, and the cycle of readings changes to Liturgical Year A featuring particularly the Gospel according to Matthew.


All Age Mass for the Parish Family

Our Advent all age service takes place on Sunday 1 December at 10.15am. The service is based on the gospel reading for the day – Matthew 24:36-44 – which reminds us to wake up and make sure we stay ready for the second coming. The Church begins its new year with the alarm clock jerking us out of sleep. There isn’t even a snooze button. There is rather a sense of urgency as we listen to the readings. In the Gospel reading we have Jesus’ own teaching about the last days, and discover that one thing we can be certain of is that the second coming cannot be predicted. No last-minute revision will be possible, then, and the regular coursework format is a more helpful model. We have to live our lives in constant readiness so that we are not taken by surprise. This is partly so that we can be prepared for death or the second coming, and partly so that we can enjoy that quality of eternity which means God is constantly coming to us even while we live out our earthly lives. We need to be ready to receive him at every moment of every day.

The Advent Procession – Sunday 1 December at 5.30pm

Our observance of the all-important Advent season gets off to an atmospheric start with the Advent Procession. The is a candlelit service which has grown in popularity in recent years. The Advent Procession is subtitled From Darkness to Light in order to encapsulate in a telling phrase what will happen in the next hour or so. But the service also captures an idea that is central to our keeping of Advent: the recognition that the beautiful world in which we live is marred by our human wilfulness, greed and violence. The light that shines as a flickering candle at the beginning represents both judgement and hope.

The light that shines in the darkness of the Church represents the light of Jesus Christ shining in our dark world. That light dispels the darkness, but not without showing up the dark places of our world, and of our lives. The light of Christ sees us as we are; it judges all, but it is also the illumination and the warmth, the guiding light, which leads us from darkness into light.

The Advent Procession is punctuated by sung phrases, drawn from scripture, known as the Advent Antiphons. With one exception, all refer specifically to Jesus, who is regarded – by Christians at least – as the fulfilment of Jewish expectation and Old Testament prophecy.

We have also included a later addition, the antiphon O Virgo Virginum, which clearly refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is given prominence among the Advent Antiphons as the human agent called by God to bring forth God’s own word and being. The readings have been chosen to reflect the theological imperatives contained in the antiphons.

The liturgy seeks to engage our intellect and our imagination, our hopes and our fears, our sense of God and our sense of ourselves as we stand before him. Our response to the rich liturgical tapestry – of darkness and light, stillness and movement, spoken word and song, royal purple vestments, unison singing and polyphony, plainchant and hymnody – is to enter into the darkness and the silence and the stillness when nothing much seems to be happening and to contribute to the multi-layered fabric of the service by our own silence and stillness, as we await the light of Christ to illuminate our dark corner.

Christmas Fayre

This annual community event takes place on Friday 6 December. Doors open at 7.00pm and there will be plenty of fun to be had till 9.00pm. Download the poster here.

Carol Services


Sunday 1 December 2019 - The Advent Procession - 5.30pm

Sunday 22 December 2019 - A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols - 5.30pm

Sunday 12 January 2020 - The Epiphany Carol Service - 5.30pm

Download the poster here.

Carol Concert

Our choir will be presenting an informal evening of Christmas music and seasonal readings on Saturday 14 December at 7.00pm entitled ‘Christmas Cheer!’ Download the poster here.

Christingle Service

Our Christingle Service on Sunday 8 December at 4.00pm is in aid the Children’s Society, and reminds particularly the younger members of our community that Jesus is the ‘Light of the Word’ made dark by human sin and selfishness. The Children’s Society do invaluable work helping abused and vulnerable children. Please do come. Congregational Evensong follows at 5.30pm and takes place in Quire.

Pre-Christmas Confessions

Please note that Fr Nicholas will be available to hear confessions on Wednesday 18 December from 10.30am, and Saturday 21 December from 10.00am. Confessions are heard in the Lady Chapel, and penitents are respectfully asked to come and go quietly via the north door facing Collingwood Road. Please wait in the middle of the nave, well away from the Chapel, until the coast is clear. ALL OTHERS are asked to avoid coming into the church building during these times.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

This perennial retelling of the story leading to our Saviour’s birth takes place on Sunday 22 December at 5.30pm. The service is held by candlelight and refreshments are served afterwards in the Parish Centre.

Crib Service

Our Crib Service for all the family takes place on Christmas Eve at 4.00pm. The service is an informal presentation of the nativity interspersed by child-friendly carols and prayers. Children are invited to come dressed as angels, shepherds and wise men.

Midnight Mass and Blessing of the Crib

We usher in the Christmas season on Christmas Eve at 11.30pm.

Christmas Day
There are two Masses of the Incarnation on Christmas Day, at 9.00am and 10.15am. The latter will begin with a procession. Evening Prayer will be said in front of the Crib at 5.30pm.

First Sunday of Christmas

Please note that on 29 December BCP Evening Prayer is said in Quire at 5.30pm.

The Octave of Christmas

Please note that the weekday mass and offices from 26 - 31 December will take place in Church at the usual times. Mass will take place at the nave altar in order that the Christmas Crib may be at the heart of our worship during this period. The church heating will be on.

New Year’s Day

On Wednesday 1 January 2020 there will be a Parish Mass for the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Mass begins at 10.15am, and worshippers are invited back to the vicarage afterwards for refreshments.


  Advent &
Christmas 2019

For important information about Advent & Christmas this year, please click here.

  Weekday Worship during the winter months  

For important information about Monday to Saturday Services throughout winter, please click here.

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(Updated 08.08.19)



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Andrew Ward Licensed as Diocesan Reader








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  What's New  


3 December 2019




The music list for December is now available.



Music Lists





16 November 2019




December has been added to the Worship Calendar.



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December has been added to the Weekday Scripture Readings



Scripture Readings




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