UK: Christmas carol service recalls suffering Christians
Some of the best-loved Christmas music was performed in central London at a carol service held in aid of a leading Catholic charity dedicated to helping suffering Christians.
The annual Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Christmas Carol Service was held at the London Oratory on Wednesday (15th December).
Performing in front of a congregation of more than 400 people was the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School.
As well as classics such as Once in Royal David’s City and O Little Town of Bethlehem, the choir directed by Charles Cole, sung Benjamin Britten’s A Hymn to the Beloved and Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre.
The service, which was led by ACN (UK) National Ecclesiastical Assistant Father Dominic Robinson, included lessons read by Sir Edward Leigh MP, Portia Berry-Kilby, Director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, journalist Jen Copestake and ACN (UK) trustee Justin Maciejewski.
ACN (UK) Head of Press and Information John Pontifex gave a testimony describing ACN’s work reaching out to Christian women and girls in Pakistan and elsewhere suffering forced conversion and marriage.
A welcome was given at the start of the service by Neville Kyrke-Smith, ACN (UK) National Director, who stated: “This evening we especially remember all Christians who are refugees or displaced.”
Highlighting ACN’s help for suffering Christian women and girls, Mr Kyrke-Smith added: “Your prayers and practical support for vulnerable Christians make an enormous difference.”
The collection for ACN raised more than £1,700 and altogether takings for the evening exceeded £2,000 including the sale of ACN Christmas cards.