While the Christmas rush builds up to fever pitch around Oxford Street, a Catholic parish is making preparations of a different kind elsewhere in London's West End. St Patrick's Parish in Soho is planning to hold a series of pastoral outreach events in the run up to Christmas, starting next Wednesday, 10 December, with carols in Covent Garden Piazza. Later in the week there will be a stall on Oxford Street, giving out mince pies and gift packs and a Gospel Choir as backdrop to outreach and evangelisation in Soho Square on Saturday. That evening there will be a procession through Soho. The week ends with a celebration Mass in St Patrick's at 11am on Sunday. Stephen White, a student at the School of Mission at St Patrick's, said: "Having the opportunity to come to the School of Mission, especially in a place like Soho, has been a real eye-opener. Here we are, ordinary people finding ourselves in an extraordinary position to provide a radical witness to a world that so clearly needs it, especially as we begin Advent. "The colour and diversity of Soho provide a unique setting for this kind of Christian outreach. Our hope is that other committed Catholics will be willing to join us in reminding the West End why we celebrate Christmas in the first place." The programme of events for the 'True Gift of Christmas' outreach includes: Outreach in The Piazza, Covent Garden - Wednesday 10 December 5-9pm A group of 50 people will be present, singing carols and inviting young people in the Piazza to a service of prayer, singing and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Corpus Christi Church that evening. Youth Prayer and Fellowship, St Patrick's Soho - Friday 12 December 6- 9pm. A gospel choir will lead the singing and all are welcome. Outreach in Soho Square Gardens - Saturday 13 December 1-4pm. There will be a stage, marquee and a gospel choir will lead the celebrations in the Square while the outreach teams will be on Oxford Street, handing out mince pies, Christmas gift packs and invitations to the Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday. Candlelit Procession through Soho - Saturday 13 December 6-10pm. Starting at St Patrick's the Parish will process through Saturday night Soho proclaiming the true message of Christmas. Thanksgiving Mass, St Patrick's Church - Sunday 14 December 11 For information contact: Stephen White, St Patrick's Parish, Soho - 020 7437 2010/07906 419491
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