7pm Wednesday 20th December 2006

NOTE - This is the archived invitation for the 2006 carol service. For 2007, click here.

You are cordially invited to a public carol service in Parliament Square at 7pm on Wednesday the 20th of December 2006. This inclusive service will contain both Christian and secular verse, and is expected to last no more than an hour.

With apologies to Amnesty International....As with the previous year, we will have a choirmaster to lead the way. Candles and song sheets will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

(Introduction and welcome)
Come All Ye Faithful
Away in a Manger
Little Drummer Boy
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Deck the Halls
Good King Wenceslas
The First Noel
Joy to the World
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Jingle Bells
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(Message of thanks followed by a one-minute silence)
Amazing Grace
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
(The Lord's Prayer; led by Brian Haw)

Legal Implications:
We got away with it last year, but you should be aware that if you attend this carol service, it still classifies as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act (2005) (more). The police actually hid last year, but this year they may change their mind, or be under fresh directions from our new 'fit for purpose' Home Secretary (who may decide that we need to be made an example of for daring to challenge his authority).

Parliament Square is located directly opposite the Houses of Parliament (map). The nearest tube station is Westminster (on the Jubilee Line).

- If you wish to send a link to this invitation via email click here.
- If you wish to put a link to this invitation on your website click here.
- If you wish to host a copy of this invitation on your website click here.

We humbly request that those who attend do not bring placards, banners or circulars to this event. If you are attending the Mass Lone Demo (6pm to 7pm the same evening), we ask that you leave such items in the care of our marshals for the duration of the carol service.

Section 132 Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act (2005):
This draconian law was designed to evict Brian Haw and stifle dissent at the heart of our democracy. On that first count, it failed, but on the second.... well, you're probably already aware that Maya Anne Evans was arrested and convicted under this law, merely for reading out names of soldiers killed in Iraq at London's Cenotaph.

Section 132 - Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament:
Demonstrating without authorisation in designated area:
(1) Any person who-
(a) organises a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or
(b) takes part in a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or
(c) carries on a demonstration by himself in a public place in the designated area,
is guilty of an offence if, when the demonstration starts, authorisation for the demonstration has not been given under section 134(2).

A formal warning usually precedes any action, but the Police may arrest any person committing an offence under Section 132 of the Act and if found guilty that individual may be liable to a fine of up to £2500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 51 weeks.

Below is a map of the area that this new law applies to. We are forced to use this reproduction, as the Home Office has helpfully withdrawn the relevant map from its website:

westminster map

Again, the police have not been notified and no forms have been filed, but the invitation for the police to join us has been repeated (even though they were terribly rude last year, what will all that skulking in the shadows and hiding from cameras nonsense). We believe that the public has the right to gather in a public place and sing Christmas carols. The police may see things differently this year; we shall see. (Technically, under the act, while this may be a spontaneous demonstration of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance, it still classifies as a demonstration.)

If you require any further details, or wish to help out with music, candles and/or song-sheets, please contact Tim Ireland via the following email address:
manic AT bloggerheads DOT com

This is an initiative led by, and it has been endorsed by the following individuals, groups and bodies (please get in touch if you wish to add your name/group to this list):

Brian Haw
Supporters of Brian Haw
Justin McKeating
Rachel North
Richard Pope

UPDATE - A short post-event report. We raised £85.93 (and 70 euro-cents) for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children. Thanks again to everyone who attended.


© 2006