10th - Christmas services for schools

For some people, the church can be a bit like a Tardis: it’s much bigger on the inside than it appears to be from the outside. We know our particular church building, squeezed between York Road and Mount Hermon Road in Woking, is a bit like that. It’s almost invisible from the road but, for those who step inside, there is a whole community which comes together, worships together, supports each other and serves our wider community.

In this series for Advent we want to open some windows so everyone can see a bit more of who we are and what goes on in a church like ours.


The excitement is building - it’s that time of year again when the local schools are coming into SMOB for their Christmas Service. This is a very special time of year I really look forward to every year, as it is a time of celebration and joy, and I love seeing our Church so full of happy, smiling faces.

Greenfield School usually hold their Service first- it is brilliant to hear all the instruments tuning up in the morning and then finish at 4pm with very polished orchestral pieces of music and a short talk from our Vicar, Mark.  Barnsbury School often follow a few days later, I just love making the teachers a hot drink after a long walk in the wet and windy December weather and the voices of excited children gathering in the main hall as parents, grandparents and siblings crowd into our Church out of the cold! The service holds many surprises with brave children reading from the front, lots of Christmas songs and often finishing off the service with a teacher’s song at the end - fantastic!

Goldsworth School usually comes at the end of the two-week school’s extravaganza - wow what can I say, it’s fun, fun, fun all the way! So many songs, dancing in the aisles (usually the children that is but sometimes the parents join in too!) Christmas hats, bible readings and that famous Goldsworth Christmas song which I look forward to every year “Noel, Noel”. This has to be one of the catchiest, Christmas tunes I have ever heard and watching the whole church erupt in a frenzy of dancing, singing, laughter and joy is a scene that will stay in your memory for the whole of the Christmas season. We finish all the services lined up outside the Church, a box of “Heroes” or “Celebrations” in hand, offering these to the children with a “Happy Christmas” and lots of smiling.

These services are great fun and a real highlight in my Christmas calendar!

Kate Clarke

Kate, pictured third from right, is the Children’s Minister at St. Mary of Bethany Church