A Wandsworth church hopes to raise Christmas spirits with doorstep Christmas carol services replacing traditional performances this year.
With large gatherings in churches banned due to Covid-19, St Michael’s Wandsworth Common in Cobham Road is traveling around the parish holding carol services in the run up to Christmas.
The services began this Monday and have been embraced by residents, who have come out of their doorsteps to join in or watch the performances on a number of streets each night.
St Michael’s vicar Rev Tif Ewins is delighted at the reception the doorstep Christmas carol services are receiving from residents.
She said: “We do two stops per street and I think at each stop we’re getting about 30 people coming out. In an evening, we’re reaching 100 to 120 people.
“The feedback is very moving. People are clapping, children are dancing. We had a girl last night who rushed in and got her violin and played along to all the carols.
“A gentleman came up to me yesterday and said he’d had a really difficult day, but he knew this was happening this evening and was so looking forward to it, and thanked us for coming.
“One lady said yesterday that this was brilliant and that she hoped we did this every year. People have been so grateful. They’ve said thank you to my team and myself.”
The doorstep carols are a noticeable departure from the festive events that St Michael’s is usually able to hold.
Ewins said: “Ordinarily we host around 4000 people because we have school plays, concerts and carol services that are put on by schools locally, as well as our own carol services.
“Back at the end of September and early October it was becoming clear Christmas was going to be different. We weren’t going to be able to do the things we wanted to do.
“I began to think about how, if we can’t host those events, we can encourage some comfort and joy at Christmas time.
“During the first lockdown we had clap for carers, so I thought about how we can make carols a bit like that.
“I thought if we go with a speaker on the top of a car and go to people’s doorsteps, they can come out, we’ll make the carol sheet downloadable, and they can literally just come to their doorstep and join in.”
St Michael’s will be hosting further doorstep carols tonight, as well on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
You can read more about doorstep carols from the group behind clap for carers here.
Featured image credit: St Michael’s Wandsworth Common