The bookmaker’s favorite is LadBaby, although the sausage-loving dad and his family have yet to reveal whether they are competing for this year’s coveted Christmas number 1.
Superstars Adele, Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Abba are also in contention, bookies say.
But they are now faced with competition from an unlikely neighborhood. The Church of England has announced its first Christmas single, a new take on the Christmas Carol In the Bleak Midwinter, sung by the professional ensemble of London’s Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The single, which will be released on December 1, was composed by Rebecca Dale. All royalties from digital streams and downloads of the track will be donated to charity.
“Although In the Bleak Midwinter is a poem written almost 150 years ago, it has a timeless mystery and wonderfully evokes a journey from the winter wonderland to the stable and the heart of nativity history,” said Dale.
The church said the single “will form the soundtrack for this year’s Church of England Christmas campaign.” He will also post a social media ad with the theme of #AtTheHeartOfChristmas that will highlight “stories of hardship overcome, generosity, faith, Christmas memories and hopes for the future of the whole country.”
St Martin’s Voices is a group of professional singers who perform at concerts, services and broadcasts from the church in Trafalgar Square. St Martin-in-the-Fields has a long history of working with the homeless, homeless and asylum seekers in central London.
Mark Hoyle, aka LadBaby, has hit the top of the Christmas charts for the past three years with sausage-themed songs. Hoyle, his wife Roxanne and their sons Phoenix and Kobe raised money for charity with We Built This City on Sausage Rolls, I Love Sausage Rolls and Don’t Stop Me Eatin ‘.
Hoyle said a festive fourth first-place tilt is possible. “Never rule out a sausage roll at Christmas, that’s what I would say,” Hoyle told Metro this month.
The C of E has already published Christmas advertisements to remind people of the meaning of the holiday season. In 2015, an advertisement featuring people saying the Lord’s Prayer was banned by three major movie chains who said it might upset or offend people.
In The Bleak Midwinter is the C of E’s first foray into the pop charts, although the Reverend Richard Coles, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live show and vicar of St Mary’s in Finedon, Northamptonshire, has reached number 1 in 1986 as one half of the duo le communards. Coles and his pop partner Jimmy Somerville spent four weeks at the top of the charts with Don’t Leave Me This Way, which became the best-selling single of the year.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said he was delighted “to share this new Christmas carol as the National Church of England’s first Christmas single.”
The festive “toppings” were wonderful, he said, “but they’re not the heart of Christmas. The only thing that makes Christmas perfect is Jesus, who sees, loves and welcomes everyone. The message of this Christmas carol is that the only thing we need to give to it and to others is our heart – our own selves. “