Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Beginning of Christmas


The service of carols, music and readings for the Communications industry at St Bride's Church in Fleet Street has marked the beginning of Christmas for me for many years. However, this one was special in that it was the turn of the Marketors to lead, which meant that I had the privilege of speaking, and indeed writing, the Bidding which is the welcome at the beginning of the service. For those interested, the full text appears at the end of this blog. I was later followed by the broadcaster Chris Tarrant who delivered the Christmas Message which ended with an hilarious poem about turkeys.

As always the music was excellent from the choir and rousing from the congregation, and I was delighted to find that the church was crowded with an unusually large number of Marketors with family and friends. My own party included the Mistress, who sat beside me by the alter, and my two sons Porter and Ben plus Amy. The service was, as always, a truly memorable occasion. Our thanks to all at St Brides.

Next, on to the Marketors' Annual Christmas Dinner. This was held at the award winning Lutyens restaurant located in the former Reuters building right next to St Brides. With our own section in this art deco influenced environment, the excellent food and wine was enhanced by large helpings of fellowship and bonhomie. Our thanks must go to Liveryman Sue Ash who was the Marketors Event Director for this whole evening. It was a truly delightful occasion and a very special way to start the Christmas festivities.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

The Bidding
St Brides Carol Service,
10th Dcember 2012

A very warm welcome to St Brides Church and to this the 47th Communications Industry Carol Service. While St Brides of course dates back to the early sixth century, this particular tradition started in the sixties when the Publicity Club of London brought together the various strands of the Communications Community to celebrate the Christmas message. It was of course a time when the printing presses could still be heard to thunder the length and breadth of Fleet Street. While thundering has been heard this year it has tended to be about the communications industry rather than in support of it.

Whether justified or not, sadly such noise tends to divert attention from the enormous good which our collective professions contribute to the community.

The festive season has traditionally been the time to look back on the year, to take stock and to plan for the future. In doing so, let us not forget those in need of our prayers; some of whom are remembered in the Journalists Chapel to my right.       

What ever tradition you come from, this is a time to step away from our hectic lives and consider what is truly important to us: our faith; our family; our friendships.

For many of us, this service, with its familiar readings and much loved carols from the excellent St Brides Choir, marks the beginning of Christmas. We trust that the good fellowship we enjoy this evening may extend throughout the festive season and into the New Year, and that the joy and peace of Christmas fills our hearts and minds for the year ahead.  

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