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“Peace to men on earth”

Cold without, warmth within: a packed church for the Order of Malta Carol Service in London

London, 12 December 2018

A light shines forthAs the darkness drew in, candles blazed all round St James’s Spanish Place, central London, for the annual Order of Malta Carol Service.

The President of the British Association of the Order, Richard Fitzalan Howard, welcomed the packed congregation, made up of members and volunteers of the Order, and the Chairman of the Companions of the Order, Paul Letman, in his address, said ‘We thank you for all you do to help the poor, the sick, the lonely, the homeless.

The Carol Service congregationThe Service is a celebration of Christmas-tide, and a fund raiser for the works of the Order. This year’s focus is on the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, whose facilities include the only neonatal intensive care unit on the West Bank. The maternity hospital has been run by the Order since 1990. 4,000 infants are born there every year, in the town that is the cradle of Christianity.  

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.