Church of England Diocese of Southwark Surbiton St. Andrew and St. Mark

Christmas at St Andrew & St Mark's is still happening

22 Dec 2020, 10:15 a.m.
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After reviewing the rising Covid case numbers and the fact that we are in Tier 4, we have decided that we will now not be doing 'in person' services at any point over the Christmas period.

While, legally, it is permitted for people to attend religious worship (socially distanced) in Tier 4, when we considered our circumstances, we feel that the risk of one of our services being a context in which the virus might be passed from one person to another was too high; in particular, we bore in mind the high (and increasing) number of people in our area who currently have the virus, and the fact that the new strain of Coronavirus seems to be more contagious.

<span style="font-size: 1rem;">The Zoom for Midnight Mass Christmas Eve and the  Christmas morning services can be found on our </span><span style="font-size: 1rem;">Website </span>Christmas<span style="font-size: 1rem;"> page</span><span style="font-size: 1rem;"> </span><span style="font-size: 1rem;">.</span>

Christmas morning services:

8am Book of Common Prayer service. A Traditional quiet and reflective service.

9.15am Festive fun and faith especially for those with young children. Will include a special Christmas themed scavenger hunt, a 'Spot the wise men' contest and the chance to win a packet of gold coins, Christmas jumper competition, an interactive telling of the Nativity story, prayers and an action song.

11am Christmas eucharist with sermon, some carols played by the organ to sing a long to at home, chance to reflect on a strange year, Christmas Jumper competition at the end, Zoom Breakout rooms with bubbly encouraged afterwards (only if you want!)

To be clear,

- the wearing of Christmas jumpers on Christmas morning will not just be encouraged but virtually mandatory;

- for those who have been waiting all their lives to sip a quiet dram during Midnight Mass, while tuning in online, in an armchair in their pyjamas, this is just the year for you.

- the breaking open of a bottle of bucks fizz or bubbly immediately after the Christmas morning Zoom services at 9.15am and at 11am is to be fully endorsed, even if you end up consuming the rest of it on your own over the course of the day

- the mystery and joy of Jesus' arrival on earth as a baby in 1st Century Judaea remains just as astonishing now as it did 2000 years ago

- but it will all feel very strange...