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Christmas services and help: our guide to what's available

Want to know what church services are on over Christmas, whether you can catch a bus or find a chemist open? Our Christmas guide can help.

St James' Church (see the parish website)

  • Christmas Eve: A Short Crib Service from 4-4.30 pm to dedicate the crib scene. Midnight Mass at 11.30pm.
  • Christmas Day: All-age service at 10.00am

St Sabina's. In order to manage the number of people because of social distancing places must be booked. For information see the parish website.

  • Christmas Vigil Mass, 9pm
  • Christmas Day Mass, 9am

Brightlingsea Foodbank

  • Open from 10.30am to 12.30pm on December 30 and January 6 at the Parish Hall, Victoria Place. Call 01206 303902 or 07970 480968, or see Colchester Foodbank's website.

First Bus. For more information see the First Essex website.

  • Christmas Eve - Saturday service
  • Christmas Day - no service
  • December 27 & 28 - Sunday service
  • December 29-31 - Saturday service
  • January 1 - no service
  • January 2 - Saturday service

Citizen's Advice Tendring.

  • Help available from December 29 - 31. Call 01255 377080 or email  [email protected].  From January 4, these contact details will apply when the usual service resumes with advisers available Monday to Thursday.

Boots Chemist, Victoria Place

  • December 25 & 26 - closed
  • December 27 - open 10am - 2pm
  • New Year's Day - closed

For information about other pharmacies that will be open across the Colchester and Tendring areas, download this list.

Tendring Council

  • Virtual offices will be closed from 4pm on December 24 until 8.45am on January 4 2021.
  • In an emergency residents can contact the council’s Control Centre on 01255 222022, available 24/7.
  • More information on council services across the holiday period can be found here.

Waste collections

  • Waste collections by Veolia will be as normal on December 24.
  • For revised dates after that, download this list.
  • On your first collection after Christmas, Veolia will collect an extra two black bags if placed beside your wheelie bin

Mental Health Support

  • Call NHS 111 and choose option 2 - available 24/7

Essex County Council's Adult Mental Health team is working up to the close of business on December 24 and reopens for December 30 & 31. Access to emergency services and crisis support is available throughout.


  • Call 116 123 for free help or email  [email protected] for a response within 24 hours.

Bills, Food & Household Essentials Support

  • If you’re struggling to pay household bills because of the pandemic this Christmas, emergency help is available. You can apply to the Essential Living Fund for help with energy and water bills, food and household essentials. For more information, visit Essex County Council’s Emergency Support page or call 0300 7900124.

Essex Wellbeing Service

  • The Essex Wellbeing Service offers free support with practical tasks, mental health, feelings of loneliness, debt, housing, employment, caring responsibilities and more. Visit the Essex Wellbeing Service website or call 0300 303 9988 for more information and details of how to access support.

United in Kind

  • United in Kind helps those who are lonely or socially isolated, the elderly and carers, and those with mental health issues, learning disabilities/ special educational needs and Autism. Contact Suzanne Howe on 07458 300898 or email [email protected]

Note: information was correct as of December 23, 2020, but may be subject to change.



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