Living Faith: Spire not stable!

Lighting candles, making mince pies, trimming the tree and singing carols … each of us has our own traditions leading to Christmas: the festival of unimaginable gift. 

A season of hope
Advent is the season of expectation and hope. An encouragement in the church’s calendar to set things in order.  Thinking of end times in the context of the present time gives us grace to repent, reimagine, rejoice  – to reach out and embrace others, and especially those in need.

It is the start of the church’s New Year and yet no other faith begins their New Year in the startling way Christianity does. 

We begin at the end by considering death and judgement, heaven and hell. Why? Because we are retelling the first coming of Christ in history and anticipating his second coming at the end of time.  

“But who can endure the day of his coming?” the prophet Malachi, so beautifully translated in ‘Handel’s Messiah’, asks.

A harsh justice
In a year of freak weather and Covid multiplication, senseless fatalities and mass migration, we have been forcibly reminded of our interconnectedness and vulnerability.  Climate change is rapid, intensifying and seemingly irreversible, and vaccine poverty and new variants render all at risk.  

Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Justin Welby in a joint statement ahead of COP26 declared: “We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure.”

St Alban’s Church is reaching out with a virtual Advent Calendar (accessed via our homepage to raise awareness and funds for agencies across Europe who are actively supporting people whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by climate change.  

Inside the church
Church is the people – and each day a different person from Denmark and the Diocese tells stories of Life, Hope, Home and Light.  

Church is also the building – and this Christmas we invite you to come into church and see the stable. Experience the rich heritage of Anglican music and worship through Carol Services, the Children’s Nativity (come dressed as your favourite Christmas story character!) and more!  

Peer inside to see the baby born in squalour, forced to flee as a refugee when a toddler, with nowhere to lay his head as an adult. And yet he is the King of Creation. Rooted on Earth, in awe of heaven we marvel, for Jesus’s birth is no small wonder.  

Think of St Alban’s on any day of the year and immediately the mind’s eye sees the spire towering high in the Copenhagen skyline, which it has graced for the last 135 years, inspiring worship by generations past and present.

Think of St Alban’s at Christmas time and you are drawn to the stable and that wondrous story of Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace.

Spire not stable
This year, we’re saying: “Spire not stable!” As we try to espy singing angels and strange stars, we notice that the very spire erected to point people to God has become porous and needs repair. Urgently.  

It will cost 4 million kroner, and this season I invite you to make a gift to St Alban’s Church. Pay it forward, whether it is to honour the memory of a loved one, a special occasion you marked here – a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral – or perhaps for no reason other than the goodness of your heart.

As we maintain cherished Christmas traditions and offer a welcome space to hundreds this festive season, we will be mindful of climate change and catastrophe, along with our duty to share the good news of Jesus Christ whose birth shook the foundations of the world.  

We want to tell it now and to the generations to come. Be inspired. Be stable. Be blessed.

Happy Christmas Everyone!