Leigh Hatts  

Boxing Day: Still Christmas

St Stephen above the west door of St Stephen’s Church in Bournemouth

Today is Boxing Day and St Stephen’s Day.

This morning there will be major church services in St Stephen’s Church Gloucester Road in London, St Stephen’s Bournemouth, St Stephen’s-on-the-Cliffs Blackpool, Cathedral Church of St Stephen Vienna and many other places.

For churches dedicated to Stephen today is their patronal festival.

Boxing Day, the second day of Christmas, is when we remember Deacon Stephen who was the first Christian martyr.

He was stoned to death because he followed the teaching of Jesus preaching about thirty years after his birth.

Christmas Day cannot be understood without Boxing Day.

Other churches such as Exeter Cathedral and Ripon Cathedral also keep today with a morning Eucharist with music.

Forget the sales. Remember St Stephen.

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