Churches in Kenley and Purley are Zoom-ing in on Christmas

Some of the borough’s churches are operating under the ‘new normal’ conditions, as our Religions Correspondent, PHIL PUGH, reports

Stoned: parishioners have been leaving painted stones around their neighbourhood for Christmas

All Saints Church in Kenley and St Barnabas in Purley have decided not to use the traditional “Happy Christmas” message this year, in favour of something more appropriate in this time of covid-19.

This year’s Christmas message on the parishes’ seasonal cards is simply a wish for “Comfort and Joy”, coupled with an offer of prayers – requests can be made using a new online feature.

All Saints, in Church Road, Kenley, and St Barnabas, on Higher Drive, Purley, have been linked for many years and share a priest-in-charge, Justine Middlemiss.

“A traditional Santa and snow message just didn’t seem right this year, so we’ve gone for something that offers a message of hope and love – something we all need right now,” said Rev Middlemiss.

“Our message is the simple wish for comfort and joy, to quote from a well-known carol – goodness, if there was ever a time that was needed, this is it.”

So, there is no snow, no holly, no Santa or stockings on All Saints and St Barnabas’ card – just that “Comfort and Joy” message and a 21st Century QR code providing links to the Christmas services and the new on-line prayer request web form.

Zooming in on Christmas: Rev Justine Middlemiss

All Saints and St Barnabas are worshipping online using Zoom and broadcasting some services live from covid-safe churches.

Members of the congregation have also been hand-painting colourful images of new-born Jesus on pebbles and leaving them in places in Purley and Kenley.

They include a selection of Christmas wishes.  The idea is to remind people of Christ’s birth and the promise of Comfort and Joy that he brings.

For All Saints and St Barnabas Christmas services, links and booking information, click here.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Church and religions, Kenley, Purley and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Churches in Kenley and Purley are Zoom-ing in on Christmas

  1. John Harvey says:

    As an agnostic, I would like to wish them good luck in moving with the times

    Many faith organizations use too much of their resources maintaining buildings and need to review the opportunities of using technology to communicate with their congregations,

Leave a Reply