Bishopsgate: St. Botolph Without Church – December Newsletter

From the Rector
You will see from this edition of our newsletter that December is a time when we at St Botolph’s welcome thousands of people through our doors to our many Carol Services.
Running in tandem with the observance of Advent, the Carol Services provide joyous celebrations for local firms, associations, charities, and Livery Companies.  In addition, we hold our annual Parish Carol Services and Crib Service. 
I would encourage you to come and celebrate at our main Parish Carol Service at 1.10pm on Thursday 14 December, our Carols by Candlelight at 5.30pm on Friday 15 December, and our Crib Service at 11am on Friday 22 December.  Wonderful music and singing are provided by our Director of Music, Iestyn Evans and our Choir at these services.  In addition, at the lunchtime Carol Service, choral items are performed by the excellent choir of the Coopers’ Company and Coborn School.  Traditional, seasonal refreshments are served after both our Parish Carol Services and Crib Service.
We all much look forward to welcoming you to St Botolph’s over this festive time.  In advance of the season, I wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and reconciled New Year.
With God’s love and blessing,
Fr David
Advent at St Botolph’sNot to be confused with our Carol Services, we hold our Advent Carol Service at 1.10pm on Thursday 7 December.  Focused on traditional readings, music and choral items, the service is a poignant introduction to the Season.  Our theme this year throughout Advent will be ‘The Outcast’, remembering those who find themselves outside the mainstream, those who are marginalised or neglected for whatever reason.

Choral Services during Advent
Wednesday 6 December
S Nicholas
Choral Mass at 1.10 pm
Missa ‘L’hora passa’ Viadana
Ad te levavi Balbi
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland Pachelbel
Thursday 7 December
A Service of Lessons and Carols in Advent at 1.10 pm

Adam lay ybounden Ord
How beautiful upon the mountains Stainer
Canite tuba Palestrina
And the glory of the Lord Handel
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 Bach
Wednesday 13 December
In the week of the 2nd Sunday of Advent
Choral Mass at 1.10 pm
Missa ‘Dixit Maria’ Hassler
Inter natos mulierum Hassler
Chorale Prelude on ‘Winchester New’ West
Wednesday 20 December
In the week of the 3rd Sunday of Advent
Choral Mass at 1.10 pm
Mass in G minor Rheinberger
Veni Domine Mendelssohn
Veni Emmanuel Peeters
 In addition to the Wednesday Choral Masses, there are Said Masses each Tuesday at 8.10 am and 12.10 pm, and Thursday at 12.10 pm
(please note some exceptions:
there will be no 12.10 Mass on Thursday 7 December or Thursday 14 December).
All the choral services will also be livestreamed
All are warmly invited to join us for our traditional Christmas celebrations
Thursday 14 December
Parish Carol Service at 1.10 pm
St Botolph’s Choir and the Choir of The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School will be joining forces to make joyful music for our popular traditional carol service. Everyone is welcome to attend the service and to stay for traditional seasonal refreshments afterwards, so bring your colleagues and friends—and come early to make sure of a seat!
Friday 15 December
Carols by Candlelight at 5.30 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
An early evening service of spectacular choral carols from across the centuries and traditional carols for all to sing, followed by seasonal refreshments
Friday 22 December
Family Mass of Christmas and Blessing of the Crib at 11.00 am
with St Botolph’s Choir
Spatzenmesse Mozart
Infant holy trad
In dulci jubilo, BWV 729 Bach
and traditional carols for all to sing, followed by refreshments
And for the first time at St Botolph’s… a Festive Entertainment!
Acclaimed actor Bruce Morrison presents ‘A Christmas Carol’!
More information and tickets:

Christmas closure and looking forward to Epiphany

Following the second performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ the church will close for the Christmas break,
re-opening at 10.00am on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Our first service of the New Year will be the Said Mass
on Tuesday 2 January at 12.10 pm.

(please note there will be no 8.10 am Mass that day).

Wednesday 3 January
Choral Mass of the Epiphany at 1.10 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
Missa ‘Alma Redemptoris Mater’ Victoria
Omnes de Saba Lassus
In dir ist Freude, BWV 615 Bach

We also welcome local firms, City institutions, national charities and choirs for their annual carol services and concerts.
The collections at some of these services are also for the support
of St Botolph’s Advent and Christmas charities, and at several of them the music is provided by Iestyn Evans and St Botolph’s Choir.
Members of the extended St Botolph’s ‘family’ are warmly invited to attend any of these events (please note some of them are ticketed).
Some of these services will also be livestreamed.
Thursday 30 November
Hill Dickinson Carols by Candlelight at 6.00 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
More information and tickets:
Friday 1 December
Worshipful Company of Leathersellers Carol Service at 6.30 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
Saturday 2 December
Provincial Priory of London Family Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at 12.00 noon
Saturday 2 December
A Pegasus Christmas at 6.30 pm
Pegasus Choir, directed by Matthew Altham, return to St Botolph’s for another Christmas concert – , a warm festive evening of Advent and Christmas carols by composers including Howells, Rutter, Poulenc, Part and Weir, with wine and Christmas nibbles afterwards.
More information and tickets:
Monday 4 December
Worshipful Company of Bowyers Carol Service at 6.30 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
Tuesday 5 December
Veterans Aid Carol Service at 6.30 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
At St Botolph’s we are proud of our partnership with Veterans Aid, the charity which works with veterans in crisis – please support this excellent cause by attending their third annual carol service at St Botolph’s.
More information and tickets:
Wednesday 6 December
Haemophilia Society Carol Service at 7.00 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
St Botolph’s holds the national memorial for those who have died as a result of the contaminated blood tragedy, and the Society holds an annual service of remembrance here. A few years ago they decided to hold their first carol service in the church which means so much to them, and it was such a success they keep repeating it…
More information and tickets:
Thursday 7 December
Beazley Group Carol Service at 3.00 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
Thursday 7 December
City Property Agents Club Carol Service at 6.30 pm
with St Botolph’s Choir
Saturday 9 December
Christmas Carols with the Godwine Choir at 7.30 pm
The Godwine Choir, directed by Edward Hughes and Alex Davan Wetton, return for their annual carol concert at St Botolph’s. The choir will sing stunning Christmas music and there will be festive favourites for the audience to join in as well.
More information and tickets:
Monday 11 December
Aon Family Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 12 December
Mayer Brown Carol Service at 6.00 pm
featuring St Botolph’s Choir
Thursday 14 December
Orlando Chamber Choir Concert ‘To shorten winter’s sadness’ at 7.30 pm
In the darkness of winter, we look for the light. We get together for religious reflection, to share supper, to feast and have fun into the night – tomorrow will be a brighter day! Composers throughout time have captured in their compositions these spiritual, sacred and secular occasions – and to mark the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s and Weelkes’ deaths this year, Orlando Chamber Choir focuses on the sound of an early English Christmas. There will be readings, audience carols, and seasonal refreshments as well.
More information and tickets:
Friday 15 December
Bishopsgate Ward Club Carol Service at 12.00 noon
with St Botolph’s Choir
Saturday 16 December
A Cantus Christmas at 7.00 pm
The dynamic chamber choir The Cantus Ensemble and their director Dominic Brennan make a welcome return to St Botolph’s for a concert of popular and traditional Christmas choral music including wonderful choral classics as well as congregational carols for everyone to join in.
More information and tickets:
Monday 18 December
XLP Carol Service at 10.00 am
Another of our charity partnerships is with the excellent youth charity XLP and we welcome their staff and volunteers for their annual Christmas celebration.
Tuesday 19 December
Stephenson Harwood Carol Service at 6.15 pm
Wednesday 20 December
Reed Smith Carol Service at 6.30 pm
Local law firm Reed Smith have come to St Botolph’s for their carol service for many years; in 2022 for the first time they supported the children’s charity Theirworld through this service and this partnership is being repeated this year.
More information and tickets:

Remembrance at Liverpool St Station
Along with Michele Ashton, Chaplain to the Railway Industry and British Transport Police, Fr David presided at the Act of Remembrance on Liverpool Street Station’s upper concourse by the war memorial during Remembrance Week.
Musical accompaniment came from St Botolph’s Director of Music, Iestyn Evans and St Botolph’s singer Cheryl Enever.  Also taking part in the service were Kawsar Zaman, Alderman of the Ward of Bishopsgate, Benjamin Murphy, Common Councillor for the Ward of Bishopsgate, Gary Hunnam, Retail Business Partner, Network Rail, and Katie Frost, Route Director – Anglia, Network Rail.
Station announcements are silenced during a two-minute silence which was marked by bugler Steve Clarkson of HSBC.

The Good Coffee Kiosk

Unfortunately, sales have not been at a sufficient level to keep the kiosk open so it has been decided that we will close while we have a look if there are changes that can be made to make the venture more successful to enable more money to be donated to the good causes we want to support. We would like to thank our loyal customers and ask that you look out for news on any reopening date in 2024. We want to hear from you, please let us know what we did well and any suggestions you have to make things better. Send us an email

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