Coffee House Culture House Daily

An invitation to The Spectator’s carol concert at St Bride’s church

26 November 2014

(Update: we have now sold 240 of the 250 tickets left to this, and the last ten will probably be gone by lunchtime Thursday. So apologies to those who are disappointed. There’s always 2015!)

The nights are drawing in, and mini santas are already in the shops. For Coffee Housers who do their Christmas planning early, I’d like to extend an invitation: to The Spectator’s annual carol concert on 10 December – my favourite event of the year. Details are here. If you’re into London’s gorgeous Wren churches and Rutter-style choral arrangements then it’s a must. We serve up mulled wine and mince pies afterwards, then adjourn to the pub.

When I first joined The Spectator this was just advertised as an evening of carol singing. ‘You can rely on The Spectator to be in good voice!’ ran the advert. It seemed odd to me: why would anyone want to get in a pew and belt out ‘O Little Child of Bethlehem’ next to journalists, no matter how well they wrote? I hadn’t worked out, then, that St Bride’s church looks like this:


Nor did I twig that the music was sung by perhaps the best church choir in London (in picture, above). Here, for example, is a clip from Choir of St Bride’s arrangement of Little Town of Bethlehem:-

They also do a genius arrangement of the 12 Days of Christmas. Here’s the 7th day:

They also have this Scottish-mocking vibe going on with the 9th day (ie, the pipers piping) which I’m certainly not going to share with you. The readings are from Spectator staff including Rod Liddle, Andrew Neil, Mary Killen (‘Dear Mary’) and yours truly. For subscribers, the tickets are £30 – not a giveaway price to be sure, but it’s a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support. To reserve your ticket, call our events team on 020 7961 0044. All Coffee House baristas will be there, so if you can make it, do come and say hi.

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  • Loggy

    As with a lot of subscribers, it would be impossible for me to attend any of the Carol Services, but would love to hear them on line, by podcast for example.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Surely a multi-faith celebration of winterval would be more appropriate for the today’s Britain.

  • Tron

    Fraser, would you agree that the choir is hideously white?

  • London Calling

    Hello Fraser

    I went to St Brides for this concert two years ago and it was quite moving. I really enjoyed it very much. I shall make an effort to attend again this year and shall wear my favourite purple beret (not in church of course)……I look forward to seeing some of you there…………..:)

    • London Calling

      See you all there,………..:)

  • moraymint

    Oh boy, I would really love to attend this concert, Fraser. Like you it seems, for me Christmas is a magical time of the year; I love it. I’m an atheist, but I love all that Christmas seems to stand for in our culture, in our society: for the giving of gifts, however modest; for the turning in on family and friends; for the winter walks – with the dogs in my case; for the choral music; for the architecture and acoustics of our churches and cathedrals; for the feasting and merriment; for the pure magic of it all – the Christmas tree, the Christmas lights, the classic Christmas movies (‘Polar Express’, ‘White Christmas/Holiday Inn’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to name but five). All that said, I’m conscious throughout that for many, many people in our society for whom Christmas should be as special as I describe it, it isn’t for them. My preferred charity is Crisis because for me being destitute and homeless is one of the worst things I can imagine; I try to support this charity as generously as I can. I’m waffling now. Your article above caught my eye. As my pseudonym suggests, I live in Moray and can’t justify a trip to London for a carol concert, but if I lived in your neck of the woods I’d be there in a flash. All the best for The Spectator’s carol concert – and this evening I’ll donate £30 to Crisis in The Spectator’s name. I know it’s a bit early, but I’ll say it anyway: Happy Christmas!

  • Media Monkey

    Low Life the sideshow been sidelined post recent controversy Fraser? Is it true “his bird” has asked Lord Carlile to sue for invasion of privacy? Any truth in the cocaine being peddled at the Spectator end of summer party?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    All cynicism aside. I would like to attend were I not about 380 miles away and preparing to go under the surgeon’s knife on Thursday.

    Sing out and sing loud.

    • telemachus

      I truly wish you well
      Please continue to post as you convalesce

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Your yearly church visit, then?

  • swatantra

    Newgate Prison would have been more appropriate Frazer, after your trashing of Leveson.

  • MirthaTidville

    Need a bit more notice Fraser in future…..not so easy to get there for those of us oop north ….Mrs M would love to make one in next year as well, although I fear Oxford Street, Harrods et al would be a must.

  • Wilhelm

    Tumbleweed, the sound of a tap dripping, door creaking, church bell ringing in distance….. not many comments is there ?

    • Fraser Nelson

      not one of my more controversial posts, certainly.

      • hexton

        Except maybe the “Rutter-style choral arrangements,” which I suspect the choir of St Bride’s would hotly deny.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Safer than Neathergate. . .

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