Christmas carollers throng legendary East End market street


Colombia Road, the east-London street famous around the world for its flower market, has drawn huge crowds this month as the setting for mass outdoor carol singing sessions.
A crowd of carollers gathered in Columbia Road around Ven Adam Atkinson leading St Peter's Bethnal Green

The celebration, organised by St Peter’s Bethnal Green, takes place on Wednesday evenings in December when the busy street closes to traffic and shops stays open for Christmas shoppers.

This year an estimated 6,000 people thronged the street over the four Wednesdays of Advent. Social media footage of the event have attracted hundreds of thousands of views each.

The Ven Adam Atkinson, Archdeacon of Charing Cross, said: “Judging by the terrific turnout of all ages numbering thousands, with the majority young adults, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for participating, singing and sharing the joy of Jesus at Christmas.

It’s fascinating and encouraging to have multiple encounters focused on God with those who gather on Colombia Road. Interesting also to see how it gets shared on social media.

Going viral on TikTok was certainly not planned, but it tells us something about an appetite for and interest in faith out on the streets.”

Tom Daggett, music outreach fellow at St Paul’s Cathedral, was at the event last Wednesday and shared the following on Twitter: