Old Fleet Street St.Brides hosts printers carol service

December 14, 2009 by  

The British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), a leading organisation offering business support to the print, graphic communications and packaging industry in the UK, enabled its members to share in the Christmas spirit this December.

The federation organises an annual ‘Carols for Printers’ service which took place this year on Tuesday 8th December. The location for the service is particularly interesting, old St. Brides Church in Fleet Street. Until recently, Fleet Street and News Print were identified as meaning one and the same thing. This fact, amazingly, prevailed for about 500 years. The spiritual centre for the print industry is still St. Brides Church.

It is interesting to note that during the 16th century a lot of clergymen lived in the area of Fleet Street. At that time, literacy belonged to the church. It is not surprising then that the clergy were the printer’s best customers. In medieval times printing was seen as a ‘mystery’. The mystery dissolved, of course, and Fleet Street, became the home of print. It is easy to see how St.Brides evolved as the printer’s spiritual home.

The candle lit service started at 6.00pm, carols were sung and the whole thing rounded off with a visit to the crypt, where celebratory drinks and mince pies rounded off the proceedings. A most enjoyable way to begin the Christmas season and perhaps reminisce, just a little, on the hustle and bustle of the glory days of old Fleet Street.