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News > ODs Around the World > A sublime UK ODU Carol Service

A sublime UK ODU Carol Service

Nothing quite says "year-end" as a traditional Carol Service. The UK ODU held theirs in London at the start of December
ODs and friends lifting their voices at the UK ODU 2023 Ceremony of Nine Lessons and Carols
ODs and friends lifting their voices at the UK ODU 2023 Ceremony of Nine Lessons and Carols


United Kingdom

Despite the best efforts of the rail unions, nothing stopped ODs, families and friends (and one Michaelhouse Old Boy) from attending this the second UK ODU 2023 Carol Service — The Ceremony of Nine Lessons and Carols — on Wednesday 6th December.

Eight of the nine lessons were read by ODs (the ninth lesson traditionally is read by the Vicar who began the service by inviting us to say the Bishops School Prayer).

The OD readers were: Charles McGregor (1968F), Jonathan Frost (2016S), Adrian Bottega (2000W), Niall Carroll (1981,O), Miles Maskell (1953,O), Keith Richardson (1968,O), Virgil Parenzee (1996,O), and Nicky Bicket (1973F).

Once again, we were in the beautiful All Saints Margaret Street Church (below) in Central London and enjoyed very much the stunning singing of their choir who led the service (see the order of service at the end of the blog).

Four of the carols were composed by ODs: There is no Rose and Torches by John Joubert (1944,O); Come, Colours Rise by Grant MacLachlan (1973F) with words by Frank Barry (1973G) and Dormi Jesu by Stephen Carletti (1983G).

It was a very Bishop affair!

As always, the purpose of ODU events up here is to bring ODs together to foster relationships and build networks. So after the service which featured all the old favourite carols, there was mince pies and mulled wine for the congregation giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet before heading home. Or at least for most to head home, as a small crowd got waylaid at a pub called, improbably, Waxy O'Connor. There a mix of older and younger ODs prolonged the evening's festivities during which it was discovered that one of the younger ODs had been delivered by one of the older ODs (true story).

The Bishops Carol Service, started at Bishops in 1935 under Doc. Claude Brown, has always been a marker of the end of another year at School. For some, it marked the end of a Bishops school career, for the rest, the start of the summer holidays. This UK ODU Carol Service also heralds the end of the year and in the beautiful surrounds of ASMS, enveloped by the sublime sounds of the singing and organ, ODs were able to relax and reflect (if one can do that while singing lustily) on the year past and what the next might bring.

In all, a most enjoyable event.

To see all the photos and the Order of Service, click HERE

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