The annual Whitehall Carol Service was held at Westminster Abbey, in association with Christians in Government, on Wednesday 19th December 2012.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: ‘As we gather together in the name of Christ we pray for the world he came to save: for the Church, that it may be enabled in our generation to surrender anew to God’s holy wisdom and bear the good news of God’s love to a needy world; for the world which is already Christ’s, that all its peoples may recognise their responsibility for its future, and may be inspired by the message of Christmas to work together for the establishment of justice, freedom, and peace everywhere; for all in special need, the sick, the anxious, the lonely, the fearful, and the bereaved, that the peace and light of the Christ-child may bring hope and healing to all who sit in darkness.’

The Address was given by General Linda Bond, Salvation Army.

Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government read Genesis 2: 4b-9, 15-25; the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, read Isaiah 9: 1-7; Una O’Brien CB, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health, read  St Matthew 1: 18-23; and the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Shadow Minister for Employment, read St Matthew 2: 7-12. Steve Webb MP, Minister for Pensions, read The Gospel (St John 1: 1-14)

Prayers were led by the Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s Church, and said by:  the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, Attorney General for England and Wales, and Advocate General for Northern Ireland; Ursula Brennan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; and Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office;

The service was sung by the Special Service Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist. Fanfare trumpeters from the Grenadier Guards played under the direction of Captain M. Smith.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 72 KB) 

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