Advent and Christmas

Advent & Christmas – services & events at a glance – click here
Advent Calendar & Christmas Charity Appeal – click here

Photo: Advent Carol Service 2021. Below: Midnight Mass.

Do join us over Advent and Christmas at St Michael & All Angels – for carols, concerts, talks, charities, our Advent Calendar and worship!

Advent is the Church’s New Year and, leading up to Christmas, it’s a wonderful season at St Michael & All Angels.

Christmas is a very special time at St Michael’s…

writes Cathie James: The rich greens and reds of its interior and its atmospheric lights, reflected against gleaming brass and darkened windows echo the traditional seasonal images.

The bustle of Christmas preparation is there, as everywhere – and the church is usually packed out for its services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, particularly the Children’s Crib Service (below).

But there are still also quiet places where it’s possible to take time out from self-focused pursuits to reflect on the true message of Christmas; to remember those who need our help and support and those for whom Christmas can be sad or lonely, particularly in these difficult economic times. The church is open for private prayer.

Our Advent season begins with the Advent Carol Service at 6.30pm on Advent Sunday, December 3rd, a contemplative service of scripture, music and poetry, led by the Vicar Fr Kevin Morris.

Christmas season begins with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 6.30pm on Sunday December 17th. This candlelit service in traditional format mixes the much loved readings that tell the Christmas story with favourite carols and some fine music from the St Michael’s choir. All this is rounded off by mince pies and mulled wine.

As Christmas approaches our first visitors usually come to the St Michael’s Crib, which is displayed in front of the High Altar until the Three Kings arrive on Epiphany Sunday. Christ’s Crib is the central focus of the Children’s Crib Service that is held at 4pm on Christmas Eve. For many people in Chiswick, this is the real start of Christmas! We often have a congregation of more than 600 – including youngsters (many dressed magnificently as angels, shepherds or kings), parents, visitors and friends – as we tell the Nativity story.

For the “grown ups”, Christmas Eve continues with Midnight Mass, richly celebrated with words, music and ”bells and smells” in the full Anglo Catholic tradition. It starts at 11.30pm as usual preceded by Carol singing in the church porch from 10.30pm.

Our Christmas services conclude on Christmas Day morning at 10am with a Family Service — a chance to sing out again all those familiar tunes that are so much an essential part of the festivities—and with fun packed ‘panto’ instead of a sermon!

Christmas is a time when we look forward to welcoming many new faces to St Michael’s. We warmly invite as many of you as we can accommodate to join our celebrations – online if not in person – and we hope you’ll find at St Michael’s something special to enrich your Christmas. And with your help and generosity we can also “make a real difference” to those on whose behalf we make our annual Christmas Appeal.

St Michael’s Advent Calendar & Christmas Charity Appeal

For over 20 years, our Advent Calendar has acted as as the focus for our Christmas Charity Appeal, ‘opening doors for people in need’.

The money raised by the Appeal goes to our three 2023 charities and you can donate to them online. You can see the Calendar in the Church during the Advent season, and you can open a new door each day throughout December here online.

This year it’s the local artists’ turn to create the 24 pictures and they will be auctioned for the Appeal on January 7th (see leftNativity, watercolour by Liz Butler, after Agnolo Gaddi). In alternate years, they are created by members of Young St Michael’s. The collections from our Nine Lessons & Carols service and Children’s Crib Service will also go to the charities – and there will be carol singing at Turnham Green tube station on Tuesday December 12th. You can donate to our charities online.

We are supporting our charities in other ways and also selling the St Michael’s Christmas card…

… after the morning service on Sundays in Advent. See image and details. (We no longer sell cards through Card for Good Causes, who only supply central London churches, but a wide range of charity cards is on sale at the Ealing Christmas Cards stall in Ealing Broadway).
– Our Christmas Appeal this year is in aid of The Upper Room, Swinfen Telemedicine and Crosslight Chiswick. Click here to donate.
– The Upper Room need more volunteers – please click the button on this page. And see their Christmas fundraising events, including the Big Give, Santa Fun Run (December 3rd, and Carol Concert (December 13th), here.