In celebration of Christmas

In celebration of Christmas

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Will Ferrell, 'Elf'

December always marks a very special and joyous time at Burdett-Coutts and in the run up towards the holidays, there are a series of annual events and services to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.

This year, it all started on the 1st of December with a special Christingle at Westminster Abbey in aid of The Children’s Society. The children enjoyed a service filled with readings and hymns with nearly a thousand other school children. They also received Christingles which were lit as everyone came together in a circle in the knave of this beautiful abbey.

Friday the 8th of December saw the whole school participating in the Nine Lessons service at St John’s Smith Square concert hall. The festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, and hymns.

Now in its third year, this wonderful service featured readings, performances and hymns by members of staff, selected children, the Year 5 & 6 Choir as well as accompaniments on the piano by Mr Carden. Parents and carers who attended were also invited to join the entire school in singing favourite hymns making this a perfect way to celebrate the festive season. It was a truly magical and touching service setting the tone for Christmas perfectly.

Then on the 12th of December, Early Years and Key Stage 1 entertained the audience at St Stephen’s Church with their touching production of The Sleepy Shepherd where we meet a lovable shepherd who just can’t keep awake – will he miss out on the big adventure?

Through song and verse, the children played out the timeless nativity tale with the sleepy shepherd and his fellow shepherds, counting their dancing sheep until they meet the beautiful angel. Who, with the help of her little angels, then showed them the way to Bethlehem just in time to see the arrival of baby Jesus, where they are met by the three wise men.

Key Stage 2 followed strongly a week later on the 18th of December with their production of Bethlehem The Musical, weaving the extraordinary story of the birth of Jesus into the ordinary lives of the people of Bethlehem, drawing on the important themes of community and hospitality. The children acted, danced and sang their way through another outstanding Christmas performance. As usual, the show was a real team effort with everyone putting themselves forward and playing their part in the year group and whole school songs.

At the end of both plays, the audience were invited to join in singing along to selected favourite hymns. Well done to everyone who took part and a huge thank you to all the parents and carers for attending and to the staff members involved in making both productions a rousing success!

The Year 5 & 6 Choir were also kept busy with several festive singing engagements throughout December. Year Six Choir sang at Norton House, a local care home, and at the Head Office of the John Lewis Partnership. Year Five Choir also sang at the Abbey Community Centre and Cardinal Place shopping mall, in support of the Westminster Befriend a Family Charity.

And finally, there was a special whole school Christingle Service on Wednesday the 20th of December at St Stephen’s Church. This Christingle service has a been a key part of Christmas celebrations at our school and church for many years. Filled with songs, prayers and performances, the highlight of this celebration involves the lighting of the Christingle candles under dimmed lights – a moment filled with awe and wonder for everyone attending. It was the perfect service to fill everyone with the spirit and wonder of Christmas before the start of the holidays!