Christmas at St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate

Message from The Rector – Come Together

As we enter Advent and head towards the Christmas festivities (though, both tend to run in parallel in the City) it is a time of coming together.
If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything, it must be the importance of physical presence.  Christianity is literally a corporate religion.  It is about presence and being there for each other. 
Our numerous Carol services for the parish, City firms, charities, Livery Companies, and social organisations throughout December are a testimony to the importance people place on being together.  It is not just being there to party and celebrate, most of the Carol services we hold raise funds for various worthy charities.  It is being there to help others.  In that vein, St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is hosting a Night Hub throughout December as part of The City of London Christmas Campaign, Operation Illuminate. 
Run by the City Police and St John’s Ambulance, the Night Hub will be there throughout the night to offer a place of sanctuary, and practical help to those who find themselves in a vulnerable position late at night, particularly vulnerable women.  Another way in which we can come together to help others is to volunteer for the Afghan Support Programme in the City.  Information on both these initiatives can be found in this newsletter.
As you prepare to gather together with family and friends this Christmas, on behalf of all of us at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate I would like to thank you for your support and friendship throughout the year and wish you all a very happy Christmas when it comes.
With God’s love and blessing, Fr David

Afghan Support Programme

The City of London is now home to a community of nearly 1,000 Afghan refugees.  They are all families, and mainly with young children, some of whom started at Aldgate primary school this term.
Volunteers are being sought to work at the Welcome Store, or with other aspects of the Afghan Support Programme here in the City.  If you are interested in helping and would like further information, please contact AfghanSupportVolunteers@cityoflondon.gov.uk and they will be in touch.

Prebendary David Paton,
Rector of St Botolph’s 1997-2006, died on 14 December 2019. Plans for services to give thanks for his life and his long ministry in the Diocese of London were due to be held at All Saints Margaret Street and here at St Botolph’s in March and April 2020, but were postponed due to the pandemic. The services are now taking place around the second anniversary of his death: on Tuesday 14 December there will be a Solemn Requiem Mass at 6.00 pm at All Saints Margaret Street (W1W 8JG, nearest Tube Oxford Circus), and our lunchtime service the following day, Wednesday l5 December at 1.10 pm, will also take the form of a Requiem dedicated to his memory.

Advent and Christmas at St Botolph
The Church is open Monday to Friday 10am—3pm
We will close for Christmas at 12 noon 24 December 2021
and reopen at 10am Tuesday 4 January 2022

Lunchtime Said and Choral Masses during Advent will follow our Advent theme of ‘The Gift…’.
The Requiem on 15 December, postponed from 2020, gives us an opportunity to remember Prebendary David Paton, our former Rector, who died two years ago this week.

THURSDAY 16 DECEMBER, 1.10 pm
PARISH CAROL SERVICE
This year 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 refreshments afterwards, so bring your colleagues and friends—and come early to make sure of a seat!

MONDAY 20 DECEMBER, 5.30 pm
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT 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 refreshments

WEDNESDAY 22 DECEMBER, 1.10 pm
Week of the 4th Sunday of Advent
The Gift of Obedience – Our Lady
CHORAL MASS
Mass of the Stable Malcolm Archer; Maria, Mater gratiae Fauré;
Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733 Bach

FRIDAY 24 DECEMBER, 11.00 am
FAMILY MASS OF CHRISTMAS AND BLESSING OF THE CRIB
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

WEDNESDAY 5 JANUARY, 1.10 pm
CHORAL MASS OF THE EPIPHANY with St Botolph’s Choir
Missa brevis Anerio; Magi venient ab oriente Clemens;
Wie schon leuchtet der Morgernstern Pachelbel

In addition to these services, there are Said Masses each Tuesday and Thursday at 1.10pm (except on 16 December, when the Parish Carol Service takes place.

Other Carol Services and Concerts during December. 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 charities. Members of the extended St Botolph’s ‘family’ are warmly invited to attend any of these events (please note some of them are ticketed).

Tuesday 7 December at 6.30 pm
Veterans Aid
Carol Service with St Botolph’s Choir
At St Botolph’s we are proud of our new partnership with Veterans Aid, the charity which works with veterans in crisis – please support this excellent cause not only with your alms this Advent but also by attending their first carol service at St Botolph’s.
More information and tickets click here

Wednesday 8 December at 7.00 pm
Haemophilia Society
Carol Service with St Botolph’s Choir
St Botolph’s holds the 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 click here

Thursday 9 December at 6.00 pm
Standard Chartered Bank
Carol Service

Saturday 11 December at 7.30 pm
Christmas Carols with the Godwine Choir
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 Christmas music including pieces by Gardner, Darke, Victoria and Holst, and there will be favourite carols for the audience to join in as well.
More information and tickets click here

Monday 13 December at 6.30 pm
Peel Hunt Carol Service

Tuesday 14 December at 12.00 noon
Beazley Group Carol Service
with St Botolph’s Choir

Tuesday 14 December at 6.00 pm
Stephenson Harwood Carol Service

Wednesday 15 December at 6.00 pm
Worshipful Companies of Broderers,
Cooks and Masons Carol Service
with St Botolph’s Choir

Friday 17 December at 12.00 noon
Bishopsgate Ward Club Carol Service
with St Botolph’s Choir

Saturday 18 December at 7.30 pm
A Cantus Christmas
The exciting young choir The Cantus Ensemble, directed by 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.

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