On Friday the 2nd of December 2022, St Paul’s in Dandenong, held its annual Christmas Festival. With over 170 parishioners and guests joining to celebrate the past year, it was an evening of prayer, celebration and thanksgiving.

The feeling of unity was preeminent, as the parish council, ladies’ committee, youth, Sunday school, soccer club and many more volunteers came together to make this a memorable event.

The festival commenced with Vespers followed by a play conducted by the Sunday School children. The children, as young as 4, participated in recreating the story of the Nativity of Christ. The play began with the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary to deliver the news that she will bear a child and concluded with the presentation of the Lord into the temple, 40 days after His birth. The children presented a beautiful play and together chanted several hymns from the feast of the Nativity in both English and Arabic.

Following the play, families enjoyed a fish and chips dinner, with family activities and Christmas carols. Some ladies from the parish, beautifully sang Christmas carols in Arabic, followed by the Sunday School children in English. The Christmas carols brought abundant smiles, laughter and enjoyment all around.

Not long after the Christmas carols the Sunday School children heard bells ringing. To their excitement, St Nicholas appeared, greeting and presenting a gift to all Sunday School children to congratulate them for all their efforts this year.

With the grace of God and without the help of all the volunteers, the St Paul’s Christmas Festival would not have been possible.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1)