London’s Columbia Road carol services cancelled over safety fears | London #Londons #Columbia #Road #carol #services #cancelled #safety #fears #London

O Come All Ye Faithful … but not to Columbia Road.

One of London’s most famous public carol services, on Columbia Road’s Christmas market, has been cancelled by its organiser due to public safety fears.

More than 7,000 people reportedly turned up for the festive singalong last week, which traditionally runs every Wednesday in December.

St Peter’s church in Bethnal Green said on Monday that upcoming events, due to be held on 13 and 20 December, would no longer go ahead.

Images and footage shared on social media – particularly TikTok – from the last carolling event on Wednesday showed a large crowd packed tightly into the road. It is understood the crowds prompted Tower Hamlets council and police to advise the cancellation of future services this year.

In a statement, the Rev Heather Atkinson, vicar of St Peter’s Bethnal Green, said: “With regret we formally announce that carols will not be taking place on Wednesday 13th and 20th December on Columbia Road this year.

“The crowds of over 7,000 present last week were of such volume on the road that there was a danger to public safety. We are grateful to God and to those working at the event that there were no serious injuries.

“Columbia Road carols has been a great partnership between the shopkeepers on the road, the local community and the parish church. As the church we cherish these relationships. This decision is in support of our community which had became dangerously overrun. Furthermore, this decision is on the strong advice of the police and local authority.

“We sincerely hope that the shops will now be able to remain open on Wednesday evenings.”

In 2022, large numbers visited the Columbia Road carols for the first event after the Covid pandemic, following a two-year hiatus. The singalong was broadcast on BBC London, with the then archdeacon of Charing Cross, the Ven Adam Atkinson, conducting of a rendition of Ding Dong Merrily on High.

The shops on Columbia Road will remain open every Wednesday before Christmas for late-night shopping from 5pm to 9pm.

#Londons #Columbia #Road #carol #services #cancelled #safety #fears #London

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