Church-goers prefer an early night at Christmas

WORSHIPPERS at the mother church of Bognor Regis prefer any early night on Christmas Eve.

The carols by candelight service at 8pm that night has now trumped the traditional midnight communion as the service of choice at St Mary Magdalene Church.

Some Anglicans have traditionally taken the chance to attend church for Christmas very late.

They can still do this at St Mary’s at 11pm.

But the vicar, the Rev Tim Crook, began an additional carol service at the Bersted Street church at the more civilised hour of 8pm a few years ago.

That has become better attended than the midnight event.

He said: “At South Bersted, we don’t believe one-size-fits-all and love serving our community with a variety of options and something to suit everyone.”

Next week’s 8pm carols by candlelight service on Christmas Eve will be a chance for those who go along to have a really good sing and hear a message from the vicar on the true meaning of Christmas.

The congregation will also enjoy multi-media short films and stunning visuals all within the beautiful candle-lit atmosphere of what Mr Crooks calls the oldest building in the town.

The candelight service will follow two other popular Christmas services at the church on Christmas Eve.

At 4pm, the short crib service is tailored especially for the very young.

The next service will take place at 6pm with family carols which is ideal for children who can cope with an hour-long service.

Mr Crook said: “It’s our privilege to extend a warm invitation to everyone to celebrate Christmas with us.”

The range of services is the latest in a series of events at the church.