Our Christmas Carol Service

Posted: 16th December 2016

Looking to the stars

Our traditional Carol Service at Ealing Abbey on Tuesday 13th December was a wonderful occasion.  To a backdrop of stars, our pupils from Lower I to Upper VI joined in music and readings with parents, staff and past pupils to celebrate Advent and look forward to the birth of the Christ Child.  Our congregation was as generous as ever in our collection for our Christmas Charities, which this year were Aid to the Church in Need and Refugee Action, raising £1,338 – a wonderful response.


In her speech at the end of the Carol Service, Mrs Raffray, Headteacher of St Augustine’s Priory, said:

‘If you leave the city and go out to the country and look up at a clear night sky you will see the stars shine with a brightness which astounds you.


We are a city school with a heart in the country. And tonight’s service with the beautiful stars remind us that in Advent we step outside our normal lives, as though we had left the city. It is a time to look at things with new eyes. We have left Ordinary Time.


2016 has been an extraordinary year globally, and in our school family we have seen the darkness of tragedy hit some of our families. The stars in our service tonight remind us to continue to look outside ourselves and our concerns and see with clarity what really matters. As a school we are working to prepare young women who will live their lives fully, who always see beyond what is trivial or material or transient. We ask them to be star gazers. And so I ask you to give generously tonight to our charities, for people who do not have our privileges, people who see the stars from tents not homes.


Our stars tonight are the girls who have sung and played so beautifully, our talented staff and in particular Dr Higgins, Mrs Eccleston, Ms Eng, Mrs Cotton Mrs Tippen and Ms King and everyone who has worked so creatively to provide this thought provoking service.


Thank you to Abbot Shipperlee and Fr Thomas for welcoming us to the Abbey, to our Old Girls and guests who joined us before the service. Thank you to all parents who support us in so many ways. Our school is an extraordinary place and it is made so by the dedication and expertise of our staff. It is made so by the girls who rise to every challenge with courage and wit and joy.

I wish you all a blessed and joyful Advent and Christmas. Gaze on the stars.’

Photographs courtesy of Mariyan Marri, Lower VI, and Anna Cunningham, Upper VI



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