Advent and Christmas 2020

Festive cheer 2020 – catch up with seasonal concerts and services

Click here to read the Advent letter from the Vicar, Father Kevin Morris
Click here to see all the pictures on our Advent Calendar – ‘opening doors for people in need’
Click here to see photographs of our Christmas concerts and services

– On Sunday December 5th,
Chiswick Choir recorded On Christmas Night (Chilcott) in the church (photo above). Click to watch.
On Thursday December 17th, Milly Forrest gave a Christmas recital, supporting our Christmas Charity Appeal. Click to watch, scroll down to read about the Appeal.
– On Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass was live-streamed on our Facebook page.
Milly Forrest sang Cecilia McDowall’s “Christus Natus est” in a recording project with the University of Essex Choir. Click to watch

Christmas has been different at St Michael & All Angels this year:
– The Cards for Good Causes shop was not open in the church, but you could still buy Cards and Advent Calendars online from Cards for Good Causes, on behalf of more than 30 charities – at least 70 per cent of the proceeds go to the charities themselves and there is no postage charge for orders over £40. See details here.
– You could also buy St Michael & All Angels’ own Christmas card – ‘Bedford Park Nativity’ (detail right) – in aid of the church’s work. Read more, see the full image and order the cards here.

Christmas Services 2020

Due to the restrictions, we offered a range of services this year, all ticketed. 
We asked people to come to only one of the Carol Services and one of the Masses at Christmas to allow room for others.

Tickets are free. We advise you strongly to book early – for you and your family – by emailing  christmasservices@smaaa.org.uk.
Please say which of the services (listed below) you would like to attend. You may do so by downloading and returning this form: Christmas tickets form final which you can also pick up in the church.

Date Time Service
Sunday 13 December 6.30 pm Carol Service
Sunday 20 December

6.30 pm

 

Carol Service
Thursday 24 December

6pm

 

Mass suitable for children and all the family
Thursday 24 December 9.30 pm Sung Mass of Christmas
Thursday 24 December 11.30 pm Midnight Mass (streamed on our Facebook page)
Friday 25 December 9.30 am Sung Mass suitable for children and all the family
Friday 25 December

11 am

 

Sung Mass suitable for children and all the family

St Michael’s Advent Calendar & Christmas Charity Appeal

For more than a dozen years, our Advent Calendar has acted as as the focus for our Christmas Charity Appeal, ‘opening doors for people in need’. The money raised goes to our three 2020 charities and you can donate to them here 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 children’s turn to create the 24 pictures (see We Three Kings above by Eleanor Morrison from this year’s Advent Calendar and detail, below, from Three Wise Men by Marnix van Campen-Brooks in 2016). In alternate years they are created by local artists. This year the collections from our two carol services will go to the charities, but there will be no carol singing at Turnham Green tube station, or other events this year. You can also donate to our charities online.

A reminder: in normal years, 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). Sadly, not this year.

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 Christmas season usually begins with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. 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 then rounded off by mince pies and mulled wine. But not this year. Instead we have two carol services, on December 13th and 20th.

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 would normally be the central focus of the Children’s Service that is usually 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. But there is no crib service this year.

For the “grown ups”, Christmas Eve usually 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 but it won’t be preceded by the usual Carol singing in the church porch from 10.30 p.m. Instead of our normal pattern, we are holding three services on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day (see above).

Our Christmas services usually conclude on Christmas Day 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.