The smell of oranges and candlewax filled the church of St Peter’s in Caversham on Christmas Eve as hundreds of families gathered together for two Christingle services.
The services are so popular that they are held back to back on Christmas Eve afternoon. At the 3pm service, 273 people attended of which 101 were under 16 and a further 400 people were expected at the 4pm service.
It opened with The Calypso Carol – See him lying on a bed of straw – and was led by the rector of St Peter’s, the Revd Mike Smith.
Children were invited to take part in a procession around the church to collect their Christingles while adults sand While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night.
As the Christingles were lit, illuminating the church with bright candlelight, Once In Royal David’s City was sung.
More carols were sung: Away In A Manger and Come And Join The Celebration, before ending with O Come All Ye Faithful.
On the way out, people could give money to the work of The Children’s Society, which works with street children, disabled children, young refugees, and children in trouble with the law.
Steve Jenkins, publicity officer for St Peter’s was delighted with how the day has gone.
“Today has been one of the most amazing days,” he said, adding that the morning had
been spent preparing the church for the service including making the Christingles which are oranges with a candle and four cocktail sticks with sweets arranged at the top, wrapped in a ribbon.
Steve feels that the Christingle services are popular because they remind people about the Christmas message.
He said: “[It’s popular] partly [because] the children like the sweets – there’s an element of that – but it’s the symbolism; it’s the light.
“Christingles [represents] the light of Christ shining in the world, giving people that beautiful light of hope that God promises us.”
The Christingles weren’t the only gift from the church to its guests. It also handed out gift tags that could be added to presents, each one with the message “Christmas starts with Christ”.
Last modified on Friday, 26 December 2014 13:41