Bring your Christmas presents for a special show and tell

A festive greeting from Church House in Caversham Steve Jenkins

Unwrap your presents and bring them to church this Christmas. That’s the invitation from St Peter’s Church in Caversham.

“The kids don’t need to leave their presents at home to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas Day,” says the Revd Mike Smith, Rector of Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham. “Bring your favourite present to church and show it off. Christmas starts with Christ; and Jesus and the rest of us will be just as excited as you.”

There will be Christmas morning services in all three of the Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham Parish churches: 8am (traditional language) and 9.45am at St Peter’s in The Warren, 10am at St John’s on Gosbrook Road and 11am at St Margaret’s in Mapledurham.

There are plenty of opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit before that, too. St Peter’s hosts the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 6.30pm on Sunday, 21 December, with some of the best singing to be heard in Reading. Then there’s Christmas Eve, starting with the manufacture of hundreds of Christingles at St Peter’s and St Margaret’s.

The decorated oranges and candles are central to the centuries-old tradition of Christingle services telling the Christmas story for all the family. Every child will receive a Christingle at the 3.00pm and 4.30pm services at St Peter’s in The Warren and the 4.30pm service at St Margaret’s, Mapledurham. This is the most popular service of the year at St Peter’s, with hundreds filling the church twice over and donations going towards the important work of The Children’s Society.

Midnight Mass is celebrated at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve in each of the three parish churches.

Rector Mike Smith says: “Christmas starts with Christ. You’re all invited to come and celebrate his birthday at your churches: St John’s, St Margaret’s and St Peter’s.”

Christmas Services in Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham

St Peter, Caversham

Nine Lessons and Carols, Sun Dec 21, 6.30pm

Christingles, Christmas Eve, 3pm and 4.30pm

Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm

Christmas Day Communion, 9.45am.

St John, Gosbrook Road

Nativity Live, Christams Eve, 4pm

Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm

Christmas Day all-age Communion, 10.00am

St Margaret, Mapledurham

Christingle, Christmas Eve, 4.30pm

Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm

Christmas Day Communion, 11.00am.