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St Ethelburga's Christmas Party

A Peaceful and Positive Christmas Party

7th December 2016 | chat day-to-day social change

If you’re anything like me, getting excited about Christmas this year has been slower than most. Finding anything that feels genuine in amongst the consumerist madness we’ve come to expect, beginning on Black Friday and ending sometime whenever people run out of either money or energy in January, can be difficult. Add to that the years’ various world events and the uncertain times we find ourselves in and finding a moment of calm and positivity this Christmas is all the more elusive and desirable. Of course, I’m not that down in the dumps; I have lots to be thankful for and publications such as Positive News as well as my local community remind me there is much to be positive about. But the other night, in the middle of frantic central London, I enjoyed a much needed evening of tranquillity and peace, and it just so happened to come from one of the organisations I’m working with, St Ethelburga’s.

I’ve been working with St Ethelburga’s for a while now, redesigning and developing their website (one of the things to look forward to in 2017!) and will talk more about them in future posts no doubt. In brief though, they’re a centre for peace and reconciliation and work towards “a dynamic way of life in which people collaborate together across differences and divisions of all kinds to solve the many challenges of our times”. Suffice to say, they’re great.

Anyway, they kindly invited myself and Tom from FX Digital (who I’m working with on the project) to their Christmas party. Firstly, being self-employed I don’t get a Christmas party so it was nice to get one. Secondly, it was a beautiful evening.

Held in the medieval church, which is one of the oldest buildings in London, we were treated not only to a festive spread (first mince pie(s)(x 5) of the year) but to an evening of beautiful music and poetry. From a female singer that left the room breathlessly still, to a passionate poet and an incredible Moldovan men’s choir which also included a surprise marriage proposal (with positive result), these moment were full of peace, hope and genuine goodwill. The impeccable performances were only scuppered when the evening was rounded off by a very cheerful guy (I think maybe from Portugal if I remember correctly) leading the room in a rendition of Little Drummer Boy, which also happened to feature an Italian middle verse just to throw in an extra fun challenge. When I say ‘scuppered’ by the way, I don’t mean by the guy himself, or even by the rest of the attendees, but probably Tom and I. We did belt it out to the best of our ability but I’m sure it fell short of the standards previously set.

The overwhelming feeling we came away with though was one of community and positivity. It’s not every day you go along to an event, knowing only a couple of people, and feel so welcomed. So thanks to St Ethelburga’s for just the kind of night I needed. You’ve got me into the Christmas spirit.