As I rode past the church in search of motorcycle parking, a choir on the steps was belting out something festive-sounding and vaguely familiar. On closer, er, whatever the aural equivalent of an inspection is, it proved to be that well-known Christmas classic, Take It To The Limit by the Eagles. I approved.
For some reason I treat singing hymns as very SRS BSNS indeed. I put on my SRS face, enunciate every syllable and breathe from the diaphragm in a manner I wouldn't dream of employing when e.g. singing Bond themes in the shower, and it's embarrassing for me and everyone around me.
We did a nice selection including my all-time favourite, O Little Town of Bethlehem. For part of the service the lights were put out so we could sing by the glow of the candles we'd found in our pews. There was a lovely moment as people spontaneously passed the flame on to their neighbours so we didn't all have to wait for the helpers to come round with a light, and another lovely moment when we all realised we couldn't clap holding a candle, and stamped our feet instead.
Interspersed with the carols were songs from the London Gay Men's Chorus, who had us eating out of their hands with their sparkling performance of I'm A Little Christmas Cracker, and readings from celebrity old people. The only one I could have identified with confidence before yesterday evening was Barbara Windsor, but Christopher Biggins was very good, Lionel Blair very silly, and I was particularly impressed with Roger Royle, who was charmingly rude and funny about all the other guests, then effortlessly switched into a prayer for those who will be lonely at Christmas before going back to funny for the blessing.