Westminster Abbey hosts Whitehall Carol Service
Wednesday, 19th December 2018
The annual Whitehall Carol Service was held at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 18th December 2018. The service was held in partnership with Christians in Government UK.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:
We have come together as the family of God, in our Father’s presence, as we look forward to the great festival of Christmas. In this service we hear and receive the good news of the birth of Christ and we offer to God our thanksgiving in the joyful singing of carols. 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; and for all in special need: the sick, the anxious, the lonely, the fearful, and the bereaved; for those supported by Christians Against Poverty, to whom our collection will be given this evening; 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 the Dean.
Lessons were read by Sir Mark Sedwill KCMG, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (Genesis 2:4b–9, 15–25); the Right Honourable James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Isaiah 9: 2–7); Melanie Dawes CB, Permanent Secretary, Housing, Communities, and Local Government (St Luke 2: 1–7); His Excellency Robert Wood Johnson, Ambassador of the United States of America to the Court of St James’s (St Luke 2: 8–16); and the Venerable David Stanton, Canon in Residence (St John 1: 1-14).
Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor, and said by: the Right Honourable Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Lindsey Durand-Vibert, Her Majesty’s Treasury and Christians in Government; Samuel Danquah, Prime Minister's Office and Christians in Government.
The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder Sub-Organist and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist. A fanfare team from the Band of the Coldstream Guards also played.