Read by Paul Clarke
Welcome. Welcome, everyone, to St John's. And, goodness, look at you all! It’s heartening, really it is, to see so many faces here tonight. If there’s one thing I’ve realised in the past few weeks it’s that there’s nothing like Christmas to wake that latent religious urge, which in many of you has lain dormant at all other points in the year. Why, only in September I was stood in the Bishop’s living room expressing doubts about our dwindling congregation, and what did he tell me? He told me to have a little faith.
‘Don’t worry, David,’ he said, like the Lord addressing Thomas ‘Don’t fear. Just you wait until midnight fucking mass, it’s like the bloody Hammersmith Apollo.’ Famously obscene our Bishop, one of his many charming quirks. But indeed, how right he was! Attendance tonight is gratifying and I can only assume it signals a sea-change in the spiritual direction of this parish, which I trust will continue long, long into the new year.