A new local Christmas carol was given its premiere on Wednesday evening outside Southwark Cathedral.
The carol – We on Bankside give you thanks, Lord – was sung first by a crowd, including many children with parents, standing around the Christmas tree in the cathedral churchyard. The brief ceremony for the lighting of the tree followed Better Bankside's annual Christingle service in the cathedral.
The words are by writer Paddy Gormley who is a member of the cathedral congregation. He wrote the five verses almost a year ago after the Dean, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, had suggested that Southwark needed its own local carol to sing at the annual tree lighting.
The carol is sung to the tune of Frère Jacques which on Wednesday evening was played by the Dixie Ticklers jazz ensemble.
Christingles are symbolic objects often used in Advent church services consisting of an orange representing the world, a red ribbon representing the blood of Christ, sweets representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons and a candle representing Jesus as the light of the world.
Before the service Better Bankside had invited children of local employees and residents to meet Father Christmas and make Christingles.
The Christingle oranges were supplied by Borough Market whose own Christmas trees were also illuminated for the first time on Wednesday evening. A mince pie and mulled wine reception in the cathedral courtyard was sponsored by construction firm Mace.