zdjecie koledy 2023

Polish Carols in Basingstoke

Polish Carols in Basingstoke

Robert Wrobel reports on the Polish carol service held at St Bede’s church, Basingstoke…

In 2019, some Polish families met together at St Bede’s church to sing carols to allow us to reflect on the wonder of Christmas; which was a very fruitful time for us all. We enjoyed it so much, that we decided to try to do this more often; however Covid and the lockdown put an end to our plans for a couple of years. We next met up again on Boxing day in 2022 to kick start our annual event.

In 2023, the Polish community in Basingstoke was established at which point, more families joined us; this allowed even  more people to be involved in planning for the event which was held recently, on the 6th January 2024.

Families from different parts of Poland wore their traditional folk dress and adults and children took part in singing and playing instruments; the youngest of whom was only 6 years old.

The event was publicised in the pastoral area and we were delighted to be joined by some families from the parish and beyond. This served as a great opportunity to showcase and preserve our beloved Polish language; allowing our younger generations to be involved as well as Polish-English integration.
During the concert, carols were mostly sung in Polish (with the words projected onto the wall for all to see) allowing even non-Polish speakers to sing along.

At the end of the concert, a collection was held which raised £45, which was donated to the church. We sincerely thank everyone who was involved in putting this event together.

One of the many Polish traditions on the 6th January, is the blessing of the chalk and myrrh. The chalk is then used to write above the front doors of our homes;  ‘C + M + B and the year’ with the letters standing for Christus Mansionem Benedicat which means ‘Christ bless this house’.

The myrrh is used in our homes for its fragrance as a sign that we want to do everything for the glory of God in the next year.

With the concert at an end, all were invited to join us for drinks and traditional Polish treats in the parish hall; giving everyone the chance to relax together, where a wonderful time was had by all.

We’re delighted to say that we have been invited to go to St Wulstan’s Catholic church in High Wycombe for the 11:30am Mass on 21st January, after which we have been invited to sing Polish carols with the parishioners. We look forward to this becoming another wonderful tradition in the life of St Bede’s church.