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parliament carol service 2 ©UK Parliament_Roger Harris.jpg header2.jpg
©UK Parliament_Roger Harris
©UK Parliament_Roger Harris

Pictures: Commons Speaker thanks parliamentary staff at carol service in shadow of Big Ben

by Cara Bentley

A carol service outside in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster has given Sir Lindsay Hoyle the chance to thank all the parliamentary staff who kept the premises running this year despite the pandemic. 

70 people, including Jacob-Rees-Mogg MP, attended a half-hour socially distanced carol service next to a huge Christmas tree.  

Photo by Roger Harris, UK Parliament

The event, which was co-hosted by the Speaker's Chaplain Revd Tricia Hillas, featured music from a small band of the Salvation Army and readings from House staff and members of the wider parliamentary community, including the Press Gallery.

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle thanked parliamentary staff for their "ingenuity, talent and sheer hard graft" - claiming that without their efforts the Chamber would not have been able to function.

He made the comments in New Palace Yard in the service which was also livestreamed for those working from home.


Photos by Jessica Taylor, UK Parliament 

Sir Lindsay told them: "I already know how amazing you are and how hard you work - but this pandemic has taken my appreciation of you to the next level.

"Without you, your ingenuity, your talent and your sheer hard graft, we wouldn't have been able to keep the business of the House and our democracy going.

"I am beyond grateful to you all - whether you have been working on the estate, or from your homes - for your resilience, for not giving up, and for helping us continue to function during difficult circumstances.

"I am so pleased we have been able to have this scaled-down carol service, because it gives me a chance to say a huge 'thank you' for everything you have done - and to wish you a very Happy Christmas and an even better 2021."

Roger Harris, UK Parliament

Ross Carlin, Deputy Principal Doorkeeper, who was a candle bearer in the service, said: 'It has been a difficult year for everyone with so many important events cancelled, so it was great to take part in something so positive and festive - it really gave the staff a lift.

'News that the vaccine is being rolled out has given us all a boost - I feel like we really can look forward to Christmas and a brand-New Year too. 

Roger Harris, UK Parliament

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