Angels, shepherds and kings will be turning up in the thousands to bring the nativity story to life at crib services and Christingle services in our cathedrals this Advent, as we prepare for, and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Advent 2018 – What’s on near you
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the day when the Children’s Society first brought the Christingle here as a fundraising tradition and most Church of England cathedrals will hold a Christingle between now and February 2019.
The Children’s Society’s first Christingle took place at Lincoln Cathedral on 7 December 1968 and to mark that special occasion, Lincoln will once again host a Christingle service on the same day.
The event is now celebrated in hundreds of churches, schools and communities up and down the country, each one raising funds for vulnerable children. Some cathedrals welcome thousands of visitors to take part in the Christingle service – many choose to come dressed as their favourite nativity character.
The Children’s Society Chief Executive, Matthew Reed says:
“The 7th December is a special moment in our history, marking the celebrated day in 1968 when we first brought Christingle here. The iconic fundraising tradition is a lifeline for the charity and we’re enormously grateful to all our supporters for helping us to work with more than a million children over the last 50 years.
“Sadly, there are a million more young people living with several serious problems in their lives today and we hope that our 50th anniversary services will go some way to supporting them.”
To help mark the anniversary, the charity has commissioned an original song with the Royal Academy of Music. Called Light a Candle, the song, composed by young composer Louise Drewett and written by award-winning poet Clare Shaw, was first heard in the special advent episode of BBC One’s Songs of Praise on Sunday 2 December. You can download the song here: www.christingle.org/song
By 1986 the word ‘Christingle’ had made it into the Oxford English Dictionary and by 2003 1 million people were attending Christingle services.
It is named after the Christingles, the oranges that are lit during the service and decorated with a candle, red ribbon, dried fruits and sweets on cocktail sticks, which represent different parts of the Christian story.