St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park

Advent and Christmas at St Michael & All Angels

Christmas comes early at St Michael's, with the opening of the Cards for Good Causes shop in the church in early November. Cards and Advent Calendars are sold on behalf of more than 35 charities, with at least 70 per cent of the proceeds going to the charities themselves.

The Angel of the Annunciation by Liz ButlerThen, on Advent Sunday (November 27th in 2016), we see the opening of the first door of St Michael's Advent Calendar Angelwhich acts as the focus for our Christmas Charity Appeal, in aid of our three 2016 charities. This year it's the children's turn to create the 24 pictures . (right: Angel by Rose Whelan, age 10, from the 2014 calendar). In alternate years they are created by local artists: (left: The Angel of the Annunciation by Liz Butler)You can see the Advent Calendar in the Church during the Advent season, or online here: Advent Calendar.

Two of the collections from our Christmas services, go to the St Michael's Charities Appeal, and so does the proceeds of our carol singing at Turnham Green tube station, date to be announced in the w/b December 13th, and other events

On the evening of Advent Sunday, at 6.30pm, we have our special Advent Carol Service, a beautiful, rich and atmospheric contemplation in carols, scripture, poetry and music which reflects on the coming of Christ

Crib figures: Joseph and MaryLater, St Michael’s Christmas Crib (right) is displayed in the High Altar until after the Three Kings arrive on Epiphany Sunday.

Everyone is welcome to visit it before and after services. Children, in particular, love the large beautifully carved wooden figures and the excitement of “following the stars” through the church to find where the baby Jesus was born.

Read a Christmas Message from Father Kevin Morris, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels

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 packed out for its services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, particularly the Children's Crib Service (below).

But there are 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.

Our Christmas season begins with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (Sunday December 18th 2016 ). 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.

As Christmas approaches our first visitors come to the St Michael’s Crib, which is displayed in front of the High Altar until the Three Kings arrive on Epiphany Sunday.

Crib ServiceChrist’s Crib is also the central focus of the Children’s Service that is held at 4pm on Christmas Eve. For many people in Chiswick, this is the real start of Christmas! We have a congregation of more than 700 - including youngsters (many dressed magnificently as angels, shepherds or kings), parents, visitors and friends - as we tell the Nativity story.

For the “grown ups” Christmas Eve continues with Midnight Mass, richly celebrated with words, music and ”bells and smells” in the full Anglo Catholic tradition. Christmas night - carols at church doorThis is preceded by Carol singing in the church porch from 11 p.m. (right) at which all are welcome.

Our Christmas services 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 you to join our celebrations and know 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.