Christmas 2014 Workplace Events 

Below we feature some accounts we have received of events arranged by Christian Workplace Groups this Christmas. How the name of Jesus has been lifted up in the workplace this Christmas season! If yours is not listed below, do let us have a brief description, with a picture. Send it to office@transformworkuk.org.

Birmingham carols 2014 Annual Carol Services for the Business Community in Birmingham 
Organised by Chaplaincy Plus and Birmingham Cathedral, this event saw over 800 business people coming to the cathedral over 2 days to celebrate the Christmas with readings and carols. Overwhelmingly positive feedback was received, especially for an outstanding talk by the outgoing Bishop of Aston. A massive boost to the business community in Birmingham!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Three Government Departments in Central London

'I attended the Defra, DCLG & DfT Carol Service at St Stephen’s Church, Rochester Row, London SW1 along with around 120 other Civil Servants. As we sat in the beautiful surroundings of St Stephens Church, Rev Graham Buckle, the vicar of St  Stephens, led the service which consisted of congregational singing of some well-known hymns interspersed with a number of readings from the Bible covering the Christmas story, including prophecy of the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Reverend Buckle gave a short, witty, address which got the congregation laughing as we were reminded about what Christmas was supposed to be about! Conductor, Stephen Hall, led the Etcetera Choir in some beautiful singing (In Dulci Jubilo (Old German tune, arranged by R.L. Pearsall) and O Magnum Mysterium, Morten Lauridsen. The choir was accompanied by Alan Bowden who played the organ.

Following the benediction, the Etcetera choir sang Sir Christèmas, William Mathias (words c1500 anon). The offering collected on the day was split between the church and the charity ‘World in Need’.'
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artificialchristmasdecoration2 London Borough of Harrow

'A carol service arranged by the staff and councillor group “Christians in Discussion”  took place in the Harrow Council Chamber. There were several faiths represented among the residents, councillors and staff. The mayor spoke on his charity Coram for which we took a retiring collection of £187. 

Carol singing was supported by Harrow Community Choir. The choir invited staff and councillors to 2 of their rehearsals to sing carols we have chosen for the event. We had Bible readings, a singing trio and a talk from a councillor who is a pastor. Street Pastors, Healing on the Streets and Christians against Poverty spoke briefly and offered prayer and support. They appreciated being invited and there was a lot of networking. Indeed when I went home (2 hours after the event finished) there were still 6 people praying.

We had a table with leaflets about local Christmas events / churches / organisations and someone took one of the Gideon Bibles. Many, many people expressed their appreciation of the event after the service.'
Christians in Government Carol Service - Emmanuel Centre Westminster

'CIG UK held a wonderful lunchtime carol service at Emmanuel Centre. The Band of the Household Cavalry played beautifully and the congregation which must have been nearing the venue capacity of 1000 sang well known Christmas carols. The Whitehall gospel choir also sang.

Lord Dannatt, formerly British Army Chief of the General Staff, delivered an excellent message which focused on Christmas past, present and future and unpacked the true meaning of Christmas, pointing very clearly to our Saviour the Lord Christ.

At the end Aidan (co-chair CIG) introduced the charity (Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East) to whom we were donating this year. People were given the opportunity to speak with someone if they had any questions about Christmas or Christianity. A wonderful event with real growth in numbers over previous years!'
CIG carols Emmanuel centre
christmasbaublehanging200261 London Borough of Redbridge

'We had a lovely service which was very well attended, with 70-80 there. The service was held at the Hospital Chapel, Ilford. Rev Francis Arkroyd of Vine United Church in the town Centre shared a word with us on ‘Signs of Hope’.

On arrival, everyone was given a star to write something positive about living/working in Redbridge. Rev Arkroyd also showed us newspaper cuttings of good news in our Borough. These were collected during the first hymn and hung on a Christmas tree. A few were read to all. He also shared that Jesus brought hope to all and reminded us that we cannot have Christmas without thinking of Easter - the hope of forgiveness and eternal life for us all.

Refreshments consisting mince pies/tea and coffee was served afterwards. The service was well attended, and guests included the Mayor and deputy, Councillors and colleagues. Donations raised were given to the Mayor's charity - Royal British Legion and the Hospital Chapel.'
RBS Carol Service, Bishopsgate, London

'After an introduction by the leader of Christians in RBS, we were lead in singing by the City Chorus Choir. The speaker was Rev William Taylor and soloist was Rose Illingsworth and keyboard Richard Simpkin. A quick glance around suggested the venue was full – possibly 150 or more were present. There were readings from Matthew’s gospel and traditional carols. Rose sang a German carol with words translated into English all about Jesus our redeemer. Her voice seemed to fill the whole bank with such a beautiful sound! 

The message by Rev William Taylor was also spot on – he expounded 1 Timothy 1:15  “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  Simply expounded with wonderful illustrations that every banker would agree with, William expounded the verse – and graciously but firmly gave a challenge for all those present who were indifferent to the claims of Jesus Christ to look up to heaven and ponder the holiness of God and then realise yes, we are all sinners. 

Follow up was done so well with gospels of Matthew being given out to everyone present; a Christianity Explored Course is planned for January 2015. So it was a great day. We give our Lord Jesus Christ all the glory for a wonderful opportunity very well taken.'
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LBTH carols 14 London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Not one but two Christmas events were put on by the Christian prayer and fellowship groups in Tower Hamlets Borough Council. The picture shows Christmas carols being sung in Mulberry Place. It was a great event, familiar carols were sung, Lilian spoke a short message and refreshments were laid on afterwards. The feedback from all who attended, particularly from new staff who attended was simply: 'It was a total success! To God be the Glory!'
Cabinet Office Group, Leeds

'The Christmas event went well. It was a relaxed event, in which people were invited to come and enjoy refreshments together, do a Christmas quiz and watch a short video. It was a fairly low key event in terms of numbers, but I'm really pleased that certainly one non-believer was present and was able to receive a message that I do believe was just for him.

Overall the event was a great witness around the office here. We love Jesus, and this season, is all about him! I think it was also a good event for the two Christians who came from the other government building here as well, and may encourage them next year to hold something themselves after our office moves on'.
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Ealing carols 14 London Borough of Ealing

'The 3 Christian Workplace Groups in Ealing Council held a Christmas Carol Service. The focus of the event was to share the true peace and joy that the Christmas season brings. It was also to raise the spirits amongst the staff of the Council at a time of great transitions due to redundancies and role changes within the Council. 

There was live music, carols, readings, a talk and some mince pies afterwards. It was a truly joyful time! It was organised by Ealing Lunchtime Talks, Workers Aflame! and Ealing Staff Christian Fellowship.'  
 
Ministry of Defence Main Building, Whitehall  

A carol service was held in the main atrium area which attracted 110 people - real growth on previous years! The speaker was Rev William Taylor, Rector of St Helens Bishopgate, and carols were led by a woodwind ensemble from the Band of the Irish Guards. Pocket versions of John's gospel, as carried by servicemen in WW1, were handed out and a number of people asked for extra ones. It was a very successful event!
 
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artificialchristmasdecoration2 BT London

'As in previous years, the BT Christian Network held a lunchtime carol service for people based in London. Around 90 people attended and it was pleasing to see a mix of network members plus other friends and colleagues.

We enjoyed a mix of congregational carols, plus for the first time we were treated to several numbers by the BT London choir. A local vicar gave a short talk on how Christmas means we can have eternal life and a number of attendees take gospels and tracts at the end. The time after the service provided a great opportunity for many who rarely get to meet face to face to catch up over mulled wine, mince pies and cake!
HM Passport Office, Peterborough  

It was a privilege for TWUK to attend the lunchtime carol service held at HM Passport Office in Peterborough. The leader of the group had brought together a choir of around 10 people, from across the building. They led the singing wonderfully, and were accompanied by 3 guitarists and one violinist.  

Readings were given by the leader of the diversity team, and a member of the office's senior leadership team. A short message was spoken by a local minister. It was a really jovial occasion celebrating Jesus' coming and was enjoyed by around 40 staff. Mince pies and refreshments were served after the event.
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christmaslightboxes198984 Bedford Borough Council  

Around 60 people attended the carol service in the Council Chamber, making the Chamber look almost full! The event went well, with an excellent school orchestra and a strong Christian message. The chairman of the council did one of readings and the Mayor gave his annual update on the charities supported this year by The Bedford Mayor's Charity and he thanked staff for their work.

After the service refreshments and mince pies were enjoyed by all. A stall with Christian themed Christmas cards and calendars was provided by the local Christian bookshop and proved popular. Donations were collected for the Mayor's Charity.
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