Editorial: Joy to the World Cup


Joy to the World Cup

The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost.

The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid the FIFA World Cup Final on 18th December. Churches might even wish to hold a Football-themed Nativity. To judge by much popular media commentary, it appears the Church has scored an own goal with this advice.

Indeed, the Church Support Hub suggestion does rather miss the point of Carol Services in the first place. They were created originally to provide an alternative to local men’s boozy night in the pub on Christmas Eve. We no longer challenge prevailing culture with the message of Christmas but capitulate to its agenda. Football is not only coming home; it is has come in and rewritten the household diary.

However, in the same spirit of seasonal sporting compromise, might we offer these alternatives to the old favourites at Carol Services?

  • We three Kings of Leyton Orient are, bearing gifts we challenge VAR.
  • Adeste FIFAdeles.
  • It came upon a Floodlight Clear.
  • The Volley and the Diver, now they are both well-known.