Leigh Hatts  

St Nicholas’s Day in London

An image of St Nicholas dated 1294

Haydn’s St Nicholas Mass will be the setting on Friday 6 December for the St Nicholas Day Solemn Mass at St Matthew’s Westminster

The Mass, starting at 6.30pm, will be attended by members of the St Nicholas Society. Bishop Stephen Venner will preside and Tim Livesely of Embrace the Middle East charity, will speak.

It is from St Nicholas that we have Father Christmas who first appeared in Beales department store in Bournemouth in 1885. It’s interesting to see that after a long gap he is back there this year.

Nicholas is a big Advent figure in many parts of Europe.

His reputation for saving children from poverty and danger makes a good role model and has resulted in him being the patron of bankers, single women, pawnbrokers, children, sailors, parfumiers and apothecaries.

He is also patron of Russia, Lorraine, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Portsmouth, New York, merchants, scholars and parish clerks.

The latter will meet in the City of London to worship and dine together on Friday night.

On Sunday afternoon 8 December ‘St Nicholas’, looking a bit like Father Christmas with a mitre, will make an appearance in Canterbury Cathedral during the St Nicholas Family Service beginning at 3.15pm.

Father Christmas is back in Beales