IT’S a busy time for us, the run up to Christmas, because we have six companies coming in for their carol concerts, big banks and law firms, and the local school also comes. Midnight mass on Christmas eve is the big one for us, and that is mostly for locals, we get about 150 or 200 and most of them walk or cycle here. We can have 20 or 30 nationalities in a service, people come from all across Europe, America and we get some Bangladeshis too – we even have a song in Bangladeshi. My favourite Christmas song this year is probably Hark the Herald, although I also quite like that one by Mariah Carey, All I Want for Christmas Is You.
For me our work at this time of year is about gathering people together and pointing them to God. Christmas leaves a lot of people distraught, and we are picking up a lot of that stuff. We also do charitable work at Christmas, there is an initiative called Food Bank in Tower Hamlets, they collect food from the supermarkets and then we help to distribute it to the people who are the most in need.
My favourite part of Christmas is coming out of church at the end of the midnight service on Christmas Eve at one o’clock in the morning.
You can stand on the steps of the church and look across to the City where the lights are low and it’s a serene and quiet moment. There’s a stillness in the air and you can feel the spirit of that first Christmas day.