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A message from Fr Kevin, vicar of St Michael & All Angels
 
It has been a strange, difficult and sometimes painful year and these last few days of Advent have been made even stranger. It is my hope and prayer that as we enter the Christmas season we may find some light in this dark landscape. We are sorry we cannot welcome more of you through our doors in the usual numbers. But I hope we’ve still embraced the spirit of the ‘St Michael and All Angels Christmas’ this year: in our concerts and services, children’s Advent Calendar images, Christmas Charity Appeal and in other ways, which we share below.
 
I was particularly pleased our congregation responded so generously to our appeal to provide Christmas stockings for the children of those refugees on our doorstep in Chiswick, supported by our newest charity West London Welcome. I hope that in these ways we have come to the true spirit of Christmas. 
 
If you’ve not booked tickets for one of our services in the church, I hope you can join us online for Midnight Mass at 11.30pm, streamed live on our Facebook page and available throughout Christmastide.
 
May I wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
At the first of our two socially-distanced Carol Services, our Choir sang Silent Night. You can listen to it here and see photographs here

Day by day in December, our Advent Calendar paintings have been revealed, in aid of St Michael’s Christmas Charity Appeal – ‘opening doors for people in need’.  To open this morning’s final door, click here.   Our thanks to the 24 children who created the images; the sponsors who supported the Appeal; and everyone who has made a donation. The Appeal has raised £2,870 so far. You can read about the work of our three charities – and still donate - here

Our Youth Church has created a Nativity scene in the church garden  - with two wise men and one wise woman (left), and a shepherd and his sheep (right). Our congregation also collected toys for the children of refugees helped by West London Welcome, our newest charity. 
On December 17th, Milly Forrest gave a Christmas recital in aid of our Charity Appeal, streamed online. You can enjoy it here and see photos here. Earlier, Chiswick Choir recorded Bob Chilcott’s On Christmas Night in the church. You can enjoy it here and see photographs here.
This evening we hold three Christmas services in the church - under strict COVID conditions - for ticket holders only. They are at 6pm, 9.30 and 11.30pm. Tomorrow there are two more, for families, at 9.30am and 11am. At the end, there'll be a collection for the work of the church - or you can donate online here.  If you wish to return tickets or join the waiting list, please email christmasservices@smaaa.org.uk.
 
If you don’t have a ticket, please join us tonight for Midnight Mass on our usual Facebook page here  – or catch up with it at a time of your choosing on Christmas Day.  And please note: this coming Sunday, December 27th, there will be just one service in the church - at 10am.
Finally, we hope you’ll enjoy two films celebrating Bedford Park poets. WB Yeats and Alan Perkins both found lyrical inspiration in the world’s first garden suburb. You can watch BBC Four's Bob Geldof on WB Yeats here, with readings by Bill Nighy, Van Morrison, Richard E Grant, Bono, Edna O'Brien, Ardal O'Hanlon, Noel Gallagher & Liam Neeson. And, as Alan retires, watch The Milkman Swan Song here.

Happy Christmas!
Copyright © 2020 St Michael & All Angels Church, All rights reserved.


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