“O camel ye faithful!” – Fulham church spreads Christmas cheer with camels and carols


Thousands of West London residents came together on Sunday evening to mark the start of Advent with a 40-minute camel procession through Fulham.

The procession was led by three camels, plus Shepherds, Maji, and clergy from St Etheldreda’s Church, Fr Ross Gunderson, Rev’d Briony Mackie and Rev’d Eva Webb-Sheen. It started on Fulham Palace Road, through Bishop’s Park and past Craven Cottage, reenacting how the Maji followed the star to the house where the Christ child and Mary were, and presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The crowds then returned to St Eth’s for Christmas carols. Festive favourites included Silent Night; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Away in a Manger; and O Little Town of Bethlehem, accompanied by musicians from Fulham Brass Band and Music Director Russell Swallow with the St Eth’s community choir. Attendees got into the festive spirit with mulled wine and street food.

Curate at St Etheldreda’s, Rev’d Briony Mackie, said:

“It was a joy to welcome so many people to usher in the start of Advent at St Etheldreda’s. As an Anglo-Catholic plant St Eth’s recognises the importance of being outward facing and showing the public what it means to be the presence of Christ in the Parish in which they serve.

“I can honestly say I never expected a procession of camels through Fulham, but God has a unique plan for us all! This is such a special time of year for so many people across London, and the world. I hope everyone found it as fun to take part in as we did, as our church community here in Fulham celebrated the Christmas story. We would also like to thank all the volunteers, St John’s ambulance and the Met police for making the whole event possible.”