Popular Christmas Eve service at St Marys Church, Shinfield, has been cancelled due to the rising Covid-19 cases.

The service pre-pandemic attracted crowds of close to 500 people, with the church even offering a streaming service in the church hall for those unable to find room in the church itself.

For this years’ service the church offered a booking system to ensure the church did not get too busy, however the only tickets remaining before the cancellation were for the hall streaming service.

The news was broken on 20, December on the church’s Facebook account.


It said: “We have a concern with the current rapid transfer of Covid and the chance that a larger congregation give for enhanced spreading.

“After a lot of discussion and looking at different options we have reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s Family Carol Service which would have taken place at 16.00 on Christmas Eve at St Mary’s.

“We know this will sadden some, but we feel that this is a responsible course of action to protect both the congregation and those leading the service.”

Due to the smaller expected audiences, the statement confirmed that the Midnight Mass and Christmas Day services are currently still going ahead.

The statement continued: “At this moment of time the Midnight service and the Christmas Day service are still taking place as the numbers at those services are smaller.

We hope that next year we will be able to have a bumper service to make up for this.”

Due to the pandemic, last year’s Christmas Eve service was also postponed, meaning it will be potentially three years between the highest attended service in the church’s calendar.