The Prince of Wales Attends Advent Service

The Prince of Wales speaks to postal worker Tim Lafford, wearing a Father Christmas outfit, during a visit to Royal Mail's Delivery Office, in Cirencester, to recognise the vital public services that the country's postal workers provide, especially this year and in the run-up to Christmas, 2020.



The Prince of Wales will visit Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) and attend an advent service.

The Prince of Wales typically attends an advent service each year and this year has chosen to visit Holy Trinity Brompton in order to meet those who are helping their local communities in times of need. 

His Royal Highness will be greeted on arrival by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir Ken Olisa, who will present the Vicar of HTB, The Rev. Nicky Gumbel. 

The Prince will then meet representatives of groups including Aid to the Church in Need, Open Doors, Love Your Neighbour & Love Christmas, Church Planting Group, Refugee Response and St Mellitus College & Peter Stream

At this year’s advent service, The Prince of Wales will donate a “Bags of Kindness” as part of the Love Christmas programme to help Holy Trinity Brompton achieve 1,000,000 gifts for those who have less this Christmas. The programme, which launched last year in the midst of the pandemic, aims to strengthen personal connections in communities across the UK and let people know that they are not alone. 

His Royal Highness will then join a short service for persecuted Christians and sign the visitors’ book before departing. 

Love Your Neighbour & Love Christmas 

HTB’s Love Your Neighbour and Love Christmas programmes, support the disadvantaged across the community. Since, March 2020 the food hub has delivered over 20 million meals and 700,000 Christmas ‘Bags of Kindness’ in 2020. His Royal Highness will be invited to see a display of them packing goods for distribution. The Love Your Neighbour campaign is a grassroots UK-wide emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis in collaboration under the Church Revitalisation Trust and in partnership with the HTB Network and other charities and organisation. 

HTB’s Refugee Response 

The Prince will meet representatives of HTB’s refugee response. HTB have been leading the response across London and have been providing essential items including clothing and toys; connecting individuals to local authorities; providing translation services; medical and dental support etc. 

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) 

His Royal Highness will also meet representatives of the group, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), who each year fund over 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries around the world, helping to support the Church in its mission. ACN supports projects which are undertaken by the local Church – bishops, priests, Sisters and lay people – in the 140+ countries where they provide aid. By working with Church leaders in these countries, they reach millions of struggling Christians, many of whom are suffering the most outrageous and egregious abuse, such as rape, murder, torture and discrimination. ACN’s help includes emergency aid, psychological support and trauma counselling, training of seminarians, and more. The UK office alone supported 394 projects in 82 countries. In 2020 they supported 4,758 projects, including: 

  • 744 construction projects, one third of which were in Africa. These include churches, presbyteries, convents, pastoral centres and seminaries 
  • 401 coronavirus-related projects, mainly in Latin America and Asia 
  • 1,243 vehicles for pastoral work, including 783 bicycles, 280 cars, 166 motorcycles, 11 boats, two buses and one lorry 
  • 1,782,097 Mass stipends, meaning every 18 seconds one Mass, somewhere in the world, was being said for the intentions of a benefactor of ACN. 

Open Doors 

His Royal Highness will meet representatives of Open Doors, a Christian organisation established in 1955 when a young Dutchman started smuggling Bibles to the persecuted church in Community Europe and today they work in over sixty countries to supply bibles provide emergency relief and help persecuted believers. In the UK and Ireland, they help the church to pray, give and speak out for those that do not have the freedom to share their faith. 

The Prince of Wales Advent Services 

In previous years His Royal Highness has attended different advent services: 

  • In December 2019, The Prince of Wales attended an advent service to remember those affected by the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka. His Royal Highness met families of those directly affected and local community groups at Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Church in London. 
  • In December 2017, The Prince of Wales visited the Melkite Greek-Catholic community who worship at St. Barnabas Church in Pimlico. The Prince met families who have escaped persecution in the Middle-East and joined a short service of prayers for persecuted Christians around the world. 
  • In December 2016, The Prince of Wales met members of the Iraqi Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Catholic community at an Advent reception hosted by Cardinal Vincent Nichols at Archbishop’s House in London. 
  • In December 2014, The Prince visited the Iraqi Chaldean Christian community at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family in Acton, London. During that visit, he met members of the congregation who have first-hand experience of the persecution of Christians in Iraq. 

Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) 

HTB Church in west London has a large, young and diverse congregation of around 4,000 people each week. Eleven services take place each Sunday across six sites in South Kensington, Earl’s Court and on the Dalgarno estate in west London. During the pandemic, special ‘HTB at Home’ online services were relayed. 

It is home to the Alpha course, which was founded at HTB and is now running in over 30,000 churches of all denominations – including Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Salvation Army and Pentecostal – in 130 countries around the world. 

HTB has also pioneered a ministry of ‘church planting’ in partnership with dioceses across the Church of England and the Church in Wales. Scores of churches have been ‘planted’ across London and into other cities such as Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Gateshead, Lincoln, Liverpool, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Rochdale, and Southampton. The first Resource Churches in Wales were planted in Cardiff and Wrexham earlier this year. 

It was a joint partner with the Bishops of London and Chelmsford in the founding of St Mellitus theological college in 2007. 

The Prince of Wales last visited the HTB site during a visit to St. Mellitus College in 2010. 

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