Mayor of London's Carol Service
On 19 December 2016 Southwark Cathedral was filled with people from all over London who had gathered for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, Christmas Carol service. The Bishop of Southwark, the Right Revd Christopher Chessun, opened his sermon by reminding the congregation that ‘Bishops are not just for Christmas’, before he welcomed Sadiq back to Southwark Cathedral, where he was signed in as Mayor on 7 May.
The service, using a sign-language interpreter throughout, featured performances from The Choir with No Name and Michael ‘Faith Child’ Ayo, 2015 MOBO Best Gospel Act. Readings were given by Canon Mark Russell, CEO of Church Army, Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Director of The Diocese of Southwark’s Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation department and Vicar of St John, Angell Town, representatives of The Marylebone Project, the largest women only homeless project in London, and The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The Mayor addressed the congregation saying ‘it’s good to be home’ and went on to remind those at the service that ‘there is so much more that unites us than divides us’.
The Bishop noted ‘this Cathedral and the Diocese it serves are for all: for all in South London and East Surrey…God coming among us calls us to live as he did: to live lives of active love for all’. He continued ‘it saddens me greatly to have to say that the unrest we are seeing in our prisons currently is the bitter harvest of reckless and savage cuts to staffing levels in recent years’ before reaffirming the Faith and Community Declaration, launched at the Mayor’s last visit to Southwark Cathedral, with the words ‘I offer this Declaration to you all as a way for us to express together determination to stand in solidarity with those who have nowhere to call home’.
A copy of the Declaration was given to all attending the Carol Service and they were encouraged to pledge their support at www.southwark.anglican.org/faithandcommunity as either individuals or as faith groups.
Photographs from the event are available online at https://flic.kr/s/aHskP1jexd