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135 years of worship

On Christmas Eve in 1882, the first Mass was celebrated at St Paul’s Church in Wood Green and attended by 18 people. At Christmas, the parish, which is at the heart of the community in Wood Green, invited Bishop John Sherrington to celebrate Midnight Mass to mark 135 years since that very first time parishioners gathered to worship together.

The church was packed for Mass, which involved the participation of over 20 altar servers, both parish choirs and the youth choir.

Before Mass 18 parishioners of all different ages, from six to 80, processed in with the parish registers, showing the diversity that is the foundation of parishes across London.

The offertory procession was led by African parishioners, who in traditional thanksgiving, brought up to the altar a large variety of gifts, while the youth choir sang a hymn in the Nigerian Igbo language.

At the end of Mass Parish Priest Fr Perry Sykes thanked all who had been involved in organising the celebration and remembered all those who had lived and worshipped in the parish for the past 135 years, in particular the 18 people present for the first Mass held at Christmas 1882. He also remembered the, at least, 36 priests produced by the parish. The church was built in 1904, 22 years after the first Midnight Mass bought the small parish community together to celebrate the birth of Christ and the birth of a thriving parish community.