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Christmas services - not sure what’s what?

You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer to enjoy our Christmas services. You will be very welcome at any of them. Here’s some information to help you decide which is the right service for you.Christingle Service 2006

Christingle Service

A service for all the family with the candles of the popular Christingle oranges creating a wonderful atmosphere as we prepare for Christmas. You can find out more about how the Christingle service helps the Children’s Society’s work with children who are in trouble or at risk – click here.

Candlelit Service of Lessons and Carols

Does what it says on the tin - a traditional Christmas carol service held in candlelight and followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

Celebration of Christmas

A different way of looking at Christmas.  There will be carols and candles but there will also be contemporary readings and poems;  and followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

CribCrib Service

The re-telling of the Christmas story, for young and old alike, with carols. So popular that this year we are having two identical services at St Mary’s,  at 2.00 pm, and 4.00 pm  on Christmas Eve.    To keep these enjoyable and safe attendance will be restricted to 300 people at each crib service.  Children may, if they wish, bring a small present for children who have little at Christmas. The Candlelit Nativity Service at St Nicolas’ at 4.00 pm is very similar.

Christmas Midnight Mass

A traditional candlelit service with carols and communion (see Said Communion Service for explanation of communion).


This is a lively and informal service for all ages, but particularly good for families.  Plenty of songs, and a range of other activities – maybe games or videos - but with some calmer moments too.  Be confident to bring babies and toddlers - and don't worry about sitting and staying in one place - feel free to move around the church.  Every Sunday at St Mary’s, this service lasts no more than 45 minutes.  On Christmas morning, children might like to bring one of their presents to show to everyone!

Said Communion Service

This short service (no more than 45 minutes) has at its heart the Holy Communion (also referred to as the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper or the Mass).  We are reminded of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the blessing and sharing of bread and wine.  Most people at the service will come to the altar to receive bread and wine, but some like to come up to receive a blessing from the priest instead, while others prefer to remain in their seats.  This service contains no music.

Sung Communion Service

Like the said communion service, this has the sharing of bread and wine at its heart.  However, this service also includes hymns with choir and organ.  It typically lasts just over an hour.

“The Real Christmas”

Not so much a service, more a reminder of what the Christmas story is really about.  An afternoon of seasonal music, activities and refreshments in St Mary’s.

Still want to find out more?

There’s lots of information about what it means to be a Christian here.

Jesus in the stable

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Nicolas Prestbury Cheltenham - Registered Charity No 1130933

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Last modified: 02 March 2017