On Tuesday 8th December, JRS UK held its Advent Service. During this most unusual of years, the service took place online and, while it was a great shame not to be gathered in person at Farm Street Church, it was a wonderful occasion which brought together the whole JRS community.
After words of welcome from Sarah Teather, the Director of JRS UK, we began our service with the traditional Advent hymn ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’. Through the course of the evening we had several beautiful performances from musicians who gave their time and talents to help create a prayerful atmosphere. There was a particularly moving rendition of ‘Douce Nuit’, the French version of the very popular carol ‘Silent Night’ which was sung by members of JRS UK’s Women’s Prayer Group.
Buy ‘O Holy Night’, a Christmas album in support of JRS UK produced by Eadaoin Hanrahan, who sang ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ at the service.
The Service was led by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, who preached a powerful homily inviting us to consider how each of us may show our love to Christ through our care for one another, especially those who are marginalised. He shared the wise words of many saints who reflected this before closing with the words of Jesus in the parable of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew’s Gospel. We are incredibly grateful to Bishop Nicholas for leading us in prayer and for the refugee friends of JRS who led us in our prayers of intercession.
Read Bishop Nicholas’ Homily in full
One of the most memorable moments of the service was the performance by the refugee friends of the JRS UK Drama Group. Those who have attended the Advent service in the past will know that the drama group have a new performance each year and had been meeting on Zoom in the weeks ahead of the service. The performance had a mixture of fun and laughter, as well as touching on our friends’ experiences of lockdown and being separated from one another. In true JRS form, it ended with some dancing and singing.
Missed the JRS Advent Service? Watch it on our YouTube channel
The Advent Service is always one of the highlights of the JRS calendar and, despite the unusual circumstances, it certainly was again this year. We are grateful for all who joined us and those who contributed to the evening, especially our refugee friends. We hope to celebrate with you in person again next year.
Support our work accompanying destitute refugee friends.
Give what you can to our Advent Appeal