Categories: Advent, Charities

20 years of our Advent Calendar & Charity Appeal

This year, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Advent Calendar & Christmas Charity Appeal, ‘opening doors for people in need’. The Appeal has raised thousands of pounds for a range of charities since 2002.

On December 2nd 2002, BBC News reported: “Children at a west London church have put a contemporary spin on a seasonal tradition by helping to create an online Advent Calendar. Angels, stockings and nativity scenes have been drawn by 24 children from St Michael & All Angels Church in Chiswick…” The news was also covered on the BBC Newsround page and and in the Church Times.

To mark the occasion, we have reproduced one of the 2002 pictures as the first image in the 2022 Advent Calendar, right – ‘Angel’ by Ellie Douglas, who was 11 in 2002. It can be opened here from today. Ellie was married in St Michael & All Angels Church this summer. The picture above is by James Moody.

More children have created pictures for this year’s Advent Calendar, which can be seen in the church as well as online, helping to promote the Charity Appeal. A new door can be opened online every day till December 24th. In alternate years, the pictures are painted by local artists and auctioned for the appeal.

This year’s Appeal will support The Upper Room, feeding the community in need in West London; West London Welcome, helping refugees and migrants; and Swinfen Telemedicine, bringing medical expertise to remote communities through technology. People can donate online here and in the church.

Collections taken at the Nine Lessons & Carols service on Sunday December 18th and the Children’s Crib Service on Christmas Eve will support the Appeal, as will the proceeds of carol singing at Turnham Green tube station on Tuesday December 13th. The online Advent Calendar is kindly sponsored by local businesses including Andrew Nunn & Associates, Foster Books, Greige Lifestyle, The Post Room Café and Young Veterinary Partnership.

Fr Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael’s, says “We think this is a wonderful way to celebrate the season and to focus attention on our Charity Appeal– and it’s hard to believe it has been running for 20 years! This church plays a central part in community life in Chiswick, and the Christmas Appeal builds on our tradition of outreach and mission within our community”.