Advent and Christmas 2023

We have plans for a great range of services and activities during the season leading up to Christmas, so do browse below. Also, we give a summary of all the services for Advent and Christmas in all three churches, which you can download here.


On Advent Sunday we begin again the Advent journey of anticipation and hope that leads us to kneel at the manger and gaze on Christ as he gazes on us. In these four weeks we prepare ourselves inwardly to meet God in the daily reality of our lives. The God we follow is a God who cares about our lives and gets involved with us – not just at Christmas but always. As we prepare inwardly so we also ask ourselves how our lives can change outwardly in response to his love for all his people and our world. That is the task of the Advent journey. May we travel it well.

As Advent approaches we think of some of the “jobs” we have to do – like writing Christmas cards. Would you like to do these sociably with other people whilst enjoying a cup of tea/coffee and a chat? Then do join us on Wednesday 29th November, 1.30pm – 3pm, in the Refectory. Everyone is welcome – even those who are so organised they haven’t got any jobs left to do!

We start the season with Advent Sunday on 3rd December. As usual at our morning services we will be gathering Christmas gifts to be distributed to families in our area who might not otherwise receive any. These will be dealt with by the Bicester Children & Family Centre, which covers Kidlington etc. They suggest the following:

  • any gifts for 11 years and above – we always struggle for the older teens and young adults
  • gift cards would be good for some of our older ones
  • smellies gift sets usually go down well
  • a good old fashion selection box is always appreciated.

And we are also delighted that our choir and choristers will be leading our Advent Carol Service – a service of music and readings, at 5.30pm in St Mary’s Kidlington.

This Advent the Posada will be travelling round the village again. For those unfamiliar with this it is the Virgin Mary, Joseph and a donkey in a small basket. We celebrate their journey to Bethlehem by welcoming them into our homes for a night or two before moving them along to the next house on the list. It will start from St Mary’s Kidlington on Advent Sunday and end at St John’s on Christmas Eve. Anyone wishing to welcome the travellers into their home can join in if we can fit you into the planned route; please contact Margaret Dee via webmaster.

Sunday 10th December, 5.30pm, St Mary’s Kidlington

‘Presence and Absence’ is a very special Christmas service where we are able to acknowledge that Christmas time brings great grief as well as great joy. It’s OK to feel down at this time of year; you are not alone. In this service we can remember those we love who are no longer with us, or all the other situations that can seem hard for us in this season. You are very welcome.

Wednesday 6th December, 10am to 3pm, The Rectory

Take time out from all the busyness of this season, for a day of quiet reflection and prayer. This will be held at the RECTORY (not Refectory), led by Penny Pedley. Bring your own lunch.

Saturday 16th December & Sunday 17th December

This year we are holding our first ever Christmas Tree Festival in St Mary’s Kidlington for two days – 16th & 17th December, concluding with the Community Carol Service at 5.30pm on the 17th. We are hoping that organisations and individuals will sponsor and decorate their own tree and fill the church with Christmas joy. The theme is “The Spirit of Christmas”, and the money raised will go to this year’s chosen charities, SANDS and EDUKID. SANDS seeks to reduce the number of babies dying and supports anyone affected by the death of a baby, during or shortly after birth: EDUKID, a charity set up by a former youth worker in the parish, works to remove the barriers to education faced by children living in poverty and conflict:

Refreshments will be available throughout the weekend.

If you would like to take part or support this event in any way please contact David Meara,

After the Advent Carol Service in St Mary’s Kidlington on 3rd December there will be a number of other carol services:

  • Saturday 16th December, 5pm, St John’s
  • Sunday 17th December, 5.30pm, St Mary’s Kidlington – Community Carol Service
  • Friday 22nd December, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Kidlington – Nine Lessons and Carols
  • Christmas Eve 24th December, 5pm, St Mary’s Hampton Poyle

We will also be singing carols in the villages from 6pm on the following dates: Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th in Kidlington, Tuesday 19th in Hampton Poyle.

Children and young people are always welcome to any of our services, but over this season there is a lot planned especially with them in mind.

Christmas Eve

We do hope that many families will be able to join us for one of these services.

  • Nativity Play in the Parish Holy Communion service, 10am at St John’s
  • Christingle service at 3pm at St Mary’s Kidlington
  • Crib Service at 4pm at St John’s
  • Carol Service 5pm at St Mary’s Hampton Poyle


Do see the above items on Posada and Christmas Tree Festival, both of which are great for all the family.


See “Children’s Specials” above for Christmas Eve services for children and their families.

On Christmas Eve there will be Midnight Mass services at St Mary’s Kidlington, starting at 11pm, and St John’s, starting at 11.30pm.

Christmas morning will see services for Christmas Communion at 10am in St Mary’s Kidlington and St Mary’s Hampton Poyle (but not St John’s).